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Title: Report on State of the Colony of New South Wales
Author: John Thomas Bigge
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 1300181h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: January 2013
Date most recently updated: January 2013

Produced by: Ned Overton

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This report has been prepared using OCR. In addition to the nine "chapter" headings (including two "Chapter VI."s, the numbering of which has been retained), John Thomas Bigge made numerous marginal notes, here inserted at the beginning of the paragraph to which they relate, terminated with an open bracket (]); these may be of some use to the reader. Bigge's idiosyncratic spellings, notably "Macquarrie", "Van Dieman" and "Paramatta", are retained throughout.

The only changes to the text have been some modernisation of the punctuation.

To give the Report context, two items—Bigge's Instructions and Macquarie's Response to the report—have been included as Addenda. They are both taken from "Historical Records of Australia", Series 1, Volume X, published by the Library Committee Of The Commonwealth Parliament, 1917. Bigge refers often to an Appendix; this may not be the one located at the end of the Report, but sometimes rather a full series of documents which has never been printed in full. Parts only of this Appendix may be found in "Historical Records of Australia", Series 3, Volume III, pp. 215-922 (concerning Van Diemen's Land) and in Series 4, Volume I, pp. 755-882.

In addition to Macquarie's Response in Addendum B., he defended himself in a pamphlet published in 1821 and in another letter to Earl Bathurst, dated October 1823.

At the end of each Addendum may be found linked notes.

Please note that the companion volumes in this series, "Report on the Judicial Establishments" and "Report on the State of Agriculture and Trade, in the Colonies of both New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land," [by J. T. Bigge; with Addenda], are both available now at
Project Gutenberg Australia.






Colony of New South Wales.

Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed,

19 June 1822.



Condition and Treatment of Convicts during the passage to New South Wales.

Parliamentary Evidence, p. 100.]
21st Article of Instructions; A. No. 1.]


Debarkation and Muster of the Convicts, Male and Female.

Vide Government and Public Notice, Sydney Gazette, 19 April 1817.]
Muster of the Convicts by the Governor.]
Address of the Governor to the Convicts.]
Applications for, and assignments of, convicts. Sydney Gazette, 10 January 1818.]
Debarkation, muster and distribution of convicts, in Van Dieman's Land.]


Nature of the Employment of Convicts when retained in the service of Government.

Discipline of the Convicts in the service of the Government.]


Superintendence of Convicts in the service of Government.


Subsistence and Clothing of the Convicts retained by Government; and Employment of Female Convicts.


Nature of the Labour of Convicts in the service of Settlers.

Sydney Gazette, 15 January 1804.]
Sydney Almanack, 1814; Tithe Labour.]
Sydney Gazette, 7 December 1816.]
Sydney Gazette, 10 Sept. 1814.]
Sydney Gazette, 18 August 1822.]
Authority and jurisdiction of the Magistrates, and appointment of those that had been Convicts.]


Control of Convicts in the Service of Settlers.



Nature and extent of remissions of Punishment, and their effects upon the Convicts.


Nature of the future Establishments for Convicts in New South Wales.



(1.)—Estimate of Expenses attending the New Settlements at Moreton Bay, Port Bowen and Port Curteis.

(2.)—Estimate of the Cost of the proposed Buildings at Port Bowen.

(3.)—Estimate of the Cost of the proposed Buildings at the New Settlement at Port Curteis.

(4.)—Estimate of the annual Expenses of a Settlement at Moreton Bay, for the purpose of receiving Convicts.

(5.)—Estimate of the Cost of Buildings required for the Establishment at Moreton Bay.

(6.)—Estimate of the produce of the labour of three thousand Convicts at Port Bowen.

(7.)—Directions and Regulations for the conduct of the New Settlements at Moreton Bay, &c.]


DESPATCH NO. 1: Earl Bathurst to Governor Macquarie. 22nd February, 1820.

[Enclosure No. 1.]
Commission of John Thomas Bigge.

[Enclosure No. 2.]
Earl Bathurst to Mr. Commissioner Bigge. [1] 6th January, 1819.

[Enclosure No. 3.]
Earl Bathurst to Mr. Commissioner Bigge. [2] 6th January, 1819.

[Enclosure No. 4.]
Earl Bathurst to Mr. Commissioner Bigge. [3] 6th January, 1819.



Major-general Macquarie to Earl Bathurst. 27 July, 1822.

[Enclosure marked A.]
APPENDIX: A List and Schedule of Public Buildings and Works

[Enclosure marked E, No. 1.]
Address to His Excellency Major-general Macquarie by Magistrates, Clergy, Public Officers, Merchants, Landholders and Free Inhabitants of the Colony of New South Wales.]

[Enclosure marked E, No. 2.]
Address from The Inhabitants of the Districts of the Hawkesbury.]

[Enclosure marked F, No. 3.]
Address Presented to Governor Macquarie at the Derwent in Van Dieman's Land on His Visiting that Settlement in April, 1821.]




Commissioner of Inquiry into the State of the Colony

of New South Wales.



BEFORE I proceed to lay before your Lordship a statement of the manner in which the Convicts are employed and managed in the settlements of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, I have thought it expedient to preface such a statement with a few observations upon the transportation and treatment of them during the passage, as it is now conducted; upon the manner in which their disembarkation is effected; and the general circumstances that attend their introduction to the scenes of their future servitude and punishment.


Condition and Treatment of Convicts during the passage to New South Wales.

THE transportation of convicts, as far as it regards their health, appears to have undergone very considerable improvement since the mortality that occurred in the ships General Hewit, Surrey, and Three Bees, in the year 1814.

The investigation that took place at Sydney, at that period, into the conduct of the masters of those vessels, and the report made to Governor Macquarrie by Mr. Redfern the assistant-surgeon on the colonial establishment, have furnished to His Majesty's government ample and very accurate means of providing against the recurrence of similar calamities.

The recommendations that were made by Mr. Redfern, under the several heads of clothing, diet, air, and medical assistance, appear, in as far as they have been adopted, to have been amply justified, by the diminished mortality in the voyages performed by convict ships from England to New South Wales; and of those that have not yet been adopted, there appears only to be one that is of material importance.

It has been truly observed by this gentleman, that in the voyages that are commenced in the later periods of the European winters, or the commencement of spring, and which terminate with the same seasons in New South Wales and in Van Dieman's Land, or the latitudes in which the latter part of the voyages are most frequently made, the convicts are exposed to great and sudden vicissitudes of climate; the greatest and most prejudicial being found to be that which occurs in the first removal of the convicts from the hulks to the transports in cold seasons, and when dressed in much lighter clothing than that to which they have been previously accustomed. The change of climate, likewise, that occurs after passing the Cape of Good Hope, in the 40th degree of south latitude, from the months of May and June to the months of September and October, requires greater warmth of clothing than that which can be afforded by the present allowance and by indisposing the convicts to be as much upon deck as before, is the cause of obstructing the ventilation of the prison.

As a remedy for this evil, Mr. Redfern has suggested, that for convicts who are exposed to it, there should be provided woollen, instead of duck trowsers, together with flannel drawers and waistcoats.


Upon this recommendation, I would observe, and to meet the objection that Mr. Redfern has anticipated of the greater danger of contagion, and of the want of cleanliness from the use of woollen, rather than of linen clothing, that cloth or woollen trowsers and shirts are constantly worn by sailors in warm climates, and that with a view to secure the principal objects of additional warmth and cleanliness, two pair of flannel drawers to each convict, to be worn with the duck trowsers, might be advantageously substituted for the additional woollen trowsers that he has proposed.


It seems to be generally admitted, that the allowance of food provided by the present scheme of victualling, is amply sufficient during the voyage; and the only evil, against which it is necessary now to provide, is the abstraction of any portion of the quantity allowed, or the substitution, that is not unfrequently attempted, of the good provisions found by government, for those of inferior quality, with which the transport ships, either through the avarice of their owners, or the fraud of their agents, are sometimes supplied.

An important check upon this abuse has been afforded by that article of the instructions to the surgeon superintendent, by which he is directed to attend the opening of every cask, of provisions, and to note it in his journal. It would appear, however, from the evidence of the principal superintendent of convicts, William Hutchinson, that complaints are most frequent from them, respecting the short issues of provisions during the voyage, and that the captains of the transport ships, on approaching the port of destination, are in the habit of making compromises with the convicts, in money, to the amount of the quantity kept back. This appears to have taken place on board the Daphne convict ship, and was considered by the magistrates, to whom the complaint of the convicts was referred, as sufficient ground for dismissing it.

The practice also observed by the captains of convict ships, and permitted by the commissariat officers, of receiving back, from the remains of provisions and stores delivered at Sydney, the allowance of eighths for issuing them, seems to have admitted great opportunity, as well is temptation, for a fraudulent abduction of the government provisions.

This practice has now been checked by a particular instruction from the Navy Board, by which the captains of transport ships are expressly prohibited from making or receiving such deduction; and the allowance of eighths is only made when they pass their accounts to the satisfaction of the Victualling Board in London. As a further check, however, upon any fraudulent change in the issue of provisions that may escape the attention of the surgeon superintendent, it will be found useful to establish a regulation, that one person from each of the messes, into which the convicts are distributed, should be required to attend in rotation at the delivery and weighing of the provisions. In some of the transports this duty has been confined to one and the same individual of the mess throughout the whole voyage; but as it is obvious that the chances of successful corruption or imposition are less when tried with many than with few, the daily change in the delegation of individuals from the mess is much to be preferred to the other mode, and is not found to be attended with any inconvenience.


The complaints, however, of the convicts are not entirely confined to a subtraction of the proper allowance of their provisions. It frequently happens that various articles of store, or of wearing apparel furnished by their friends on leaving England, are put on board the ships for the convicts, and according to the evidence of William Hutchinson, the superintendent, they have not been always punctually delivered; and in some cases they have been damaged, or their contents purloined and appropriated by the sailors.

The communication that necessarily takes place between the convicts and the sailors during the passage, and the disposition that is common to both to dissipate their resources for the sake of some temporary enjoyment, to indulge their passion for gambling, or excite it in others, will render the decision of their complaints very difficult to the magistrates at Sydney.

It is not desirable, generally, that the convicts should arrive in New South Wales with money or the means of procuring it; and it is still less desirable that their possession of it should be known, except to the surgeon superintendent, the captain and mate of the ship. But in order to prevent the feeling of disappointment or exasperation that the loss of their property must occasion, and to diminish the temptations to gamble for it during the voyage, it would be advisable that a list of all packages allowed to be put on for the convicts should be made out and attested by the captain and mate of each vessel previous to sailing; that they should be kept in a separate and secure place during the passage; and that the captain and mate should be held responsible for their delivery on the arrival of the ship, at Sydney. This arrangement would doubtless exclude access to the packages during the voyage, and interfere perhaps with the object of sending them on board; but to this it is a sufficient answer, that the possession of property leads only to thefts, and consequently to augmented punishment; and that the encumbrance of packages in the prison deck, if left in the ion of the convicts themselves, would be a great obstruction to ventilation and cleanliness.


The instructions furnished by the Navy Board to the surgeon superintendent, do not specify the frequent admission of the convicts on deck, as an important means of preserving their health; but as the instructions furnished to the master require him to comply with the applications of the surgeon for that as well as other purposes beneficial to the convicts, it was, doubtless, intended to leave a discretion to be exercised by the surgeons, as well in regulating the frequency of their access to the deck, as to their numbers at one and the same time. The exercise of this discretion depends of course upon the state of the weather and the capacity of the deck, but it likewise depends upon the experience of the surgeon superintendent, and the degree of confidence that this experience may lead him to place in the character of the convicts. It accordingly happens, that those surgeons and masters to whom this particular service is new, will not allow more than one half of the prisoners to remain on deck at one time, and will not take off their irons till an advanced period of the voyage: others, on the contrary, allow as many of them as please to come upon deck, and encourage them to remain there as long as they do not interfere with the operations of the ship, and frequently take off their irons, or a part of them, in a fortnight after leaving England.

The advantages arising from allowing the convicts a free access to the deck, in giving effectual ventilation to the prisons, and in preserving their health, are justly and strongly described by Mr. Redfern in his report to Governor Macquarrie; and these advantages, and the feelings that accompany the enjoyment of them, are so important in preserving discipline as well as health during the voyage, that they ought not to be risked from an unwarrantable distrust of the convict; or from an apprehension of any combined attempt to obtain possession of the ship. As the release from the incumbrance of irons is always an indulgence to the convicts, so is the return to the use of them a salutary punishment that may supersede the necessity of having recourse to flogging.

The fear of combinations amongst the convicts to take the ship, is proved by experience of later years to be groundless; and it may be safely affirmed, that if the instructions of the Navy Board are carried into due effect by the surgeon superintendent and the master, and if the convicts obtain the full allowance of provisions made to them by government, as well as reasonable access to the deck, they possess neither fidelity to each other, nor courage sufficient to make any simultaneous effort that may not be disconcerted by timely information, and punished before an act of aggression is committed. A short acquaintance with the characters of the convicts, promises of recommendation to the governor on their arrival in New South Wales, and an ordinary degree of skill in the business of preventive police, will at all times afford means of procuring information; and with a view to afford those of more complete protection against any open violence during the day, when the convicts are on deck, it is expedient that the ships that are taken up for this service, should, if possible, be provided with poops, upon which the military guard may at all times be posted. They are thus more completely separated from the convicts in the hours of duty or of exercise and they are sufficiently elevated above the deck to observe their motions, and if necessary, to control them.

Although, in the transportation of female convicts to New South Wales, the preservation of their health has been more easily and generally accomplished than that of the males, yet no scheme of superintendence has yet been devised by which their intercourse with the crew can be entirely prevented. From the evidence of Mr. Cordeaux, Mr. Gyles, and Mr. Walker, who were passengers on board the convict ship Friendship, prostitution appears to have prevailed in a great degree, and the captain and surgeon at last connived at excesses that they had not the means to resist, or any hope of suppressing. The account given by Mr. Gyles, of the proceedings of the voyage, differs very materially from the testimony of Mr. Cordeaux and Mr. Walker; and the accounts of all are still more pointedly contradicted by the evidence of the superintendent Hutchinson, who states that the female convicts from the ship Friendship declared, on their arrival at Port Jackson, that they were perfectly satisfied with the conduct of the captain, a declaration that is further confirmed by the result of Mr. Secretary Campbell's muster of them, at the conclusion of which it is stated "that no complaints were made". The characters likewise given by Mr. Gyles of several of the female convicts, differ as materially from those that were given by the master and surgeon superintendent of the Friendship on their arrival at Port Jackson.

Mr. Gyles has asserted that no precautions were adopted by the captain or surgeon to prevent an improper intercourse between the crew and the convicts; and it certainly appears, by the evidence of Mr. Cordeaux, that the very simple and obvious one of depositing the keys of the prison in a place of security during the night, was not resorted to till after a complaint was made at St. Helena, by the surgeon, to Admiral Plampin. In consequence of this neglect, a very general intercourse took place between the crew and the female convicts; and after it had been once permitted, the captain and the surgeon, though not without a sense of the advantages that they expected to derive from a strict performance of their duty, had lost that authority over their subordinate officers, that might have enabled them to have enforced some restraint upon the crew; their attempts to restore it were ineffectual, and, in making them, they were opposed by the vicious inclinations of the women themselves.

Parliamentary Evidence, p. 100.]

The conduct of the captain has been censured by Mr. Gyles for inhumanity, especially in the infliction of punishment; but it does not appear that in any instance it exceeded the compulsory, but injudicious, use of a wooden collar. The want of cleanliness that has been stated by the same person, in his letter to Mr. Marsden, as the effect of negligence on the part of the captain and surgeon, is imputed by Mr. Cordeaux to the perverse dispositions of the women, and the reluctance of the captain to have recourse to force, by which alone he thinks their dispositions could have been controlled.

The circumstances that took place on board the female convict ship Janus, are detailed in the minutes of evidence that were taken by myself upon the Investigation, ordered by Governor Macquarrie, of the complaint of two female convicts that had been assigned to Mr. Bayley. It is to be remarked, that the advanced state of pregnancy in which these women were found to be previous to the departure of the captain and mate of the ship from Port Jackson, occasioned their complaints to be preferred through Mr. Bayley, their master, to the governor, although, at the muster that took place on board the ship; no complaint of any kind is recorded by Mr. Secretary Campbell to have been made to him, nor was any complaint addressed to any other quarter. From the evidence, however, it appears, that all the evils that unrestrained intercourse between the crew of the ship, and a number of licentious women could produce, existed to their full extent in the voyage of the Janus from England, during the stay of the vessel at Rio de Janeiro, and until its arrival at New South Wales. The death of the surgeon superintendent, on the passage from Rio de Janeiro to Port Jackson, has necessarily deprived the inquiry of satisfactory proofs of the attempts made by him to check the profligacy of the officers and crew; but it appears that the attempts of the captain were neither sincere nor effectual. With the knowledge, indeed, that the sailors could not fail to obtain of his participation, as well as the mate's, in the same intercourse in which they had so freely indulged, it was not to be expected that their admonitions, if sincere, could have been effectual. The captain has denied that his intercourse with Mary Long was of an improper or immoral kind; but the testimony of the Rev. Mr. Conolly and Mr. Therry both agree in the frequency and long duration of the visits of this woman to the captain's cabin; and it is also to be observed, that he has not denied the allegation made by her upon oath, of his being the father of the child with which she was pregnant when the inquiry took place.

Of the degree of resistance that may be expected to be made, to all attempts to impose restraint upon the crews of female convict ships, during their passage from England to New South Wales, the journal of Dr. Reed, surgeon superintendent of the ship Morley, may afford some means of forming a judgment. All the influence both in the captain, surgeon and passengers, that could be derived from good example, and all the advantages of a most patient and courageous resistance to the vicious inclinations of the crew, were not sufficient to prevent them from obtaining access to some of the women who had yielded to their persuasions. It is necessary however to observe, that in the fitting of female convict ships for transportation, a greater degree of attention seems to have been paid to the comfort of the prisoners, than is consistent with the prevention of intercourse between them and the the sailors. There seems to be no reason for not giving the same degree of strength a greater degree of attention seems to have been paid to the comfort of the to the stauncheons that surround the fore and after hatchways, that has been access to some of the women who had yielded to their persuasions. It is necessary however to observe, that in the fitting of female convict ships for transportation, prisoners, than is consistent with the prevention of intercourse between them and found so effectual in those of male convict ships; and with this precaution, there is less to be apprehended from the destruction or temporary removal of the wooden gratings that cover the hatchway, or the padlocks by which they are fastened. The most assailable points of the prison are the two small fore-hatchways that give light and air to the hospital; and here it is necessary that the iron gratings should be of the strongest description, for the descent from them to the hospital is easy, and the attempts to break through them are, in a great measure, removed, from the to observation of the officers of the deck.

The apartment for the free women and children should always be placed between the sailors birth and the prison, and the partition should be made of exactly the same thickness and strength as that which separates the same apartments in the male convict ships.

In taking a review of the circumstances that have attended the transportation of male and female convicts from England and Ireland to New South Wales, and the gradual improvement that has taken place in the system during the last six years, it appears certain that the voyage may be performed with perfect security to the health and persons of the convicts. For attaining these objects nothing more seems necessary than a strict adherence to the instructions issued by the Navy Board to the surgeons superintendent, at the commencement and during the progress of the voyage, and a determination manifested by the proper authorities in New South Wales to listen to and investigate any complaints that may be made known to them on its termination.

The course that has been adopted by Governor Macquarrie, certainly affords opportunities for the convicts to make complaints; but from the evidence of the superintendent Hutchinson, they are in many cases not effectual: and it appears, that if the captain of a transport succeeds in making a pecuniary compromise with the convicts previous to their arrival in port, and in silencing them at the muster, the conduct of the master is altogether withdrawn from judicial investigation, and does not come to the knowledge of that authority in England that alone has the power of punishing him, by withholding or making a deduction from the promised gratuity, or by mulcting the owners of the vessel in a portion of the freight.

The doctrine that has been held by the magistrates in Sydney upon this subject, can only apply to the complaints of the convicts before them; but it is clear, that the pecuniary satisfaction paid to them for a subduction of the proper quantity of food by the captain, constitutes no satisfaction to the government, whose instructions he has violated, and who also, in ignorance of that violation, may award remuneration instead of punishment. In the detection of attempts to diminish the quantity of food allowed by government to the convicts on the passage, the authorities in New South Wales cannot exercise too much vigilance. An important control may, however, be beneficially exercised in England, by the agents of the Navy Board, in seeing, as well as certifying, that the several articles that are covenanted to be found by the owners of the transports, are actually on board before the ships leave their port. To no article of this description does the observation apply so materially as to the quantity of water; for its scarcity or its bad quality (especially when taken in, when the tide is high, in the river Thames,) furnishes the most specious pretext for stopping at Rio de Janeiro; and as the consumption of water on board the female convict ships is greater, generally, than in the male, and more essential to the preservation of their health, a larger supply than that of 120 gallons to each person, should be laid in, even if the supply of animal food should be diminished.


The supplies of medicine that are sent for the use of the convict ships, seem to comprise every article of use, or of comfort, that can be found necessary; but from the great accumulation of lime-juice and bark that has taken place in the Sydney hospital, it would appear that larger quantities of these medicines are supplied than the experience of several years seems to require; and that, on the other hand, it would be advisable to increase the quantities of every species of purgative medicine, this alteration embracing equally the demand that exists during the voyage, and in the hospitals in New South Wales.


The accommodation now afforded to convicts in the prisons of the transport ships, by allotting eighteen inches to each convict in every sleeping birth, is quite sufficient; and the only improvement that seems to be required in the fitting of these vessels, is one that would contribute to enforce discipline, by affording a separation of the well conducted convicts from the refractory and turbulent. It would, however, effect a change in the present construction of the hospitals, that seems to have been adopted upon some consideration of the advantages and disadvantages attending their position in the fore or after part of the vessel, and which, although condemned by very many of the surgeons appointed to this service, has certainly been confirmed by a successful experience of four years.

The fore part of the ship that is now devoted to the hospital would indisputably form the best situation for a separate place of confinement for offenders, as all the inconveniences arising from bad or suspended ventilation, increased motion, leakage and opening of the sides of the vessel in bad weather, are necessarily felt there, in a greater degree than in the other parts of the ship. These reasons equally concur in rendering the same place unfit for an hospital. It is asserted, however, that the introduction of the hospital into the after parts of the ship, whereby it would be placed next to the crew and guard, might augment the dangers of infection to them; and that the men, whose lives are the least valuable, ought to incur the greater risk. It is further alleged, that any arrangement by which the personal inspection of the surgeons is frequently directed to the whole of the prison (which must be the case if they have to traverse it, on their visits to the hospital,) ought not to be exchanged for another and more commodious position of that apartment, unless the advantages of such a change are clear and decisive. The advantages on one side consist of a greater degree of comfort and better ventilation to the hospital patients, with the means of providing a separate place of confinement for the refractory and ill disposed, in a portion of the seam at present occupied by the hospital; and on the other, a more constant inspection of the prison by the surgeons superintendent, economy of space in the ship, the appropriation of the best and most airy part of it to the separate use of the juvenile convicts; and that immediate control over the others that is now afforded to the military guard, which would be lost, if the hospital were interposed between their apartment and the prison.

21st Article of Instructions; A. No. 1.]

In making the present arrangement it does not appear that any medical authority was consulted; and if the danger of infection formed one of the reasons for making it, it may well be doubted whether that danger is not augmented by confining it to that part of the ship where there must always be the least degree of ventilation and the greatest degree of damp. As a strict examination of the convicts, both male and female, by the surgeon superintendent, before admission into the ship, and a determined rejection of any that are infected with contagious disorders, has during the last few years, prevented the introduction of them into convict ships, their occurrence during the voyage has been very rare; but in case such a calamity should occur, the present situation of the hospitals would not only render the cure of such diseases more difficult, but must necessarily expose a greater number of persons to their influence than if they were placed in the after part of the ship between the apartment of the sailors and the guard and the prison. The control of the guard over the prison would certainly be removed; but until some medical authority has sanctioned the present situation of the hospital, it would appear, that the object of security from any sudden violence of the convicts, has been preferred to that of security from the contagion of disease.

The present plan of fitting the convict ships, does not admit of any classification of the prisoners beyond that of appointing the best conducted to the situation of wardsmen; nor can any plan be devised, that will not, in a greater or less degree, impede ventilation. The separation of the boys from the men has sometimes been attended with this consequence; and although the introduction of schools, during the voyage, should by all means be encouraged, it appears doubtful whether greater mischiefs do not arise from placing the boys by themselves during the night, than by distributing them in small numbers amongst the other convicts: a separate birth should continue to be provided for facilitating the means of their instruction during the day, and all the arrangements for separating them at night should be left to the discretion of the surgeon superintendent.

The space that is allotted for the seamen and military paid, being scarcely adequate to their accommodation for so long a voyage, it is of importance that no addition should be made to the number of passengers for which the arrangements are first calculated. Instances have occurred in which free passengers, and wives of soldiers of the guard, have been permitted to embark after the convicts, and much inconvenience and a great deal of ill-will has been created by the difficulty of providing for their accommodation. This observation applies more particularly to the female convict ships, in which a great number of free women and their children are always allowed to embark; but more especially those that touch at Cork to complete their number; and it has moreover been observed, that the admixture of Irish female convicts with the English, and the delay that is consequent to their reception at Cork, while it prolongs the voyage, interrupts a course of discipline which, when once established, it is material to maintain, and which is found to be much checked by any delay of the ship in a foreign harbour.

The exercise of authority over the convicts during the passage, and the doubts that have arisen respecting its nature, are points that require some consideration.

The several acts of parliament that regulate the transportation of offenders to places beyond the seas, have in most cases adopted the provisions of the 4th Geo. c. 11, by which a property in the services of the convicts is assigned to the person who contracts to transport them. The security of the contractor, and the interest that he feels in safely conveying the convicts to their place of destination, and in discharging the obligations of his bond, naturally pointed out him or his agent as the persons in whom the chief control over them was to be vested. By the charter-party the owner covenants that the captain of the convict ship shall obey all orders that he may receive from the Commissioners of the Navy, and that he shall attend to all such requisitions as may be made by the surgeon superintendent, to admit the convicts upon deck, and to promote cleanliness and ventilation, "as much as possible consistent with safety". By the instructions of the Navy Board likewise, with which every master of a convict ship is furnished, he is directed to comply with such regulations as the surgeon superintendent may think necessary, respecting the management of the convict; and their treatment while on board.

The apparent contradiction that arises from giving a property in the services of the convicts, and the custody of their persons to the master of the ship, while his orders as well as the covenants entered into by the owner of the vessel, enjoin him to comply with the directions of the surgeon superintendent, has given rise to frequent altercations between them during the voyage; the surgeon superintendent contending, that the master is bound to comply with all directions that he may give him touching the management of the convicts, and under all circumstances that do not affect the safety of the ship.

This qualification has likewise been construed by some to be limited only to the safe navigation of the vessel, and not to comprise the possible case of a mutiny amongst the convicts. The masters, on the other hand, maintain that they have a greater share of authority over the convicts, and that the personal interest they have at stake in safely conveying them, as well as from the interest of their owners in the vessel, they are fitter judges of all circumstances that may affect their security.

The two points in which such a collision of authority have most frequently occurred, are the admission of the convicts to the deck, and the taking off their irons, at an early period after leaving England; both, it has been observed, of considerable importance to the maintenance of their health and discipline.

It is the interest of the surgeon superintendent to deliver the number intrusted to him in a good state of health; it is the interest of the master to deliver them only in safety; and the heavy penalty into which he enters, for the punctual fulfilment of this part of his duty, must naturally outweigh the contingent value of the remuneration that is promised for his general good conduct and humane treatment, or the consideration of prejudice or loss that an opposite line of conduct may occasion to his owners.

It is the opinion of Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, that to remedy these doubts, and the discussions that take place between the masters and the surgeons superintendent of convict ships, the authority of the surgeon should be more defined, and that to him should also be given the property in their services, and the safe custody of their persons.

It would, however, be too great a risk for the government to separate the responsibility for the custody and delivery of the persons of the convicts from the individual in command of the ship, or from those who hold a property in it. While that responsibility remains with the captain, it is difficult to take away from him all discretion whatever in support of it. The surgeon superintendent has the power of entering upon his journal the refusal of the captain to comply with his request, and of causing an investigation of this refusal to be made on the arrival of the ship in New South Vales; and the faithful and fearless exercise of this power by the surgeon, forms the only security for a compliance with his requests that the nature of the service will admit.

The necessity of resorting to corporal punishment of the convicts during the passage, and the assumption of authority for this purpose by the surgeon in some cases, and in others by the master, have likewise furnished ground for disputes between them. The power of inflicting it is not at present given to either by any law or instruction; and those who have had recourse to it have been content to rest their justification upon the circumstances of each particular case.

Complaints of undue severity of corporal punishment during the passage have been very rare of late; and as a resort to it on some occasions is necessary, where the use of handcuffs and double irons are found to be ineffectual, it appears that some legislative sanction should be given to the infliction of moderate corporal punishment, and that the power of ordering it should be vested in the surgeon superintendent, rather than in the captain of the transport. To the same officer should likewise be confided all discretion in the application of the military force; and to prevent misunderstandings to which the want of instructions on this head have given rise, the officer commanding it should be ordered to comply with such requisitions for assistance as the surgeon superintendent may think necessary. The want of authority to inflict punishment on the soldiers of the guard in case of repeated drunkenness or misconduct, has been felt on several occasions; and as the detachments that are sent on this duty generally consist of young recruits, it is expedient that all temptation to excess should be as much as possible avoided or diminished. With this view, the regulation that prevails in the issue of spirits to troops on service, of diluting them with a proportion of two-thirds of water, should be strictly enjoined, except on the occurrence of any cold or wet weather.

Considering the difficulties that always attend the adjustment of authority on board vessels employed in the transport of troops as well as of convicts, it does not appear to be expedient or practicable to vary the measure or the principle upon which the present distribution of it proceeds, further than by giving a power, of ordering moderate punishment, to the surgeon superintendent, and impressing upon the minds of the captains of transports, the penal consequences, to themselves and their owners, of an unwarrantable opposition to the surgeon's requests.

A subject of no less difficulty occurs in providing means of employment to the male convicts; and it does not appear that any have been recommended that would not in a great degree endanger the safety of the vessel, or interfere with the space required for stores and provisions.

The establishment of schools under the authority of the surgeon, and especially amongst the boys, has always been attended with good effects and although there has been no want experienced latterly in the supply of religious books, and of bibles and testaments, yet it does not appear that they are accompanied by any of the common elementary school books; a supply of both should be sent to the surgeon for distribution, and use on the voyage; and he should be instructed to deliver them to one of the resident chaplains at Sydney, and held to produce his receipt for them.

The employment of the convicts in such parts of the navigation of the vessels as are not performed aloft, may safely and advantageously be resorted to. They are generally willing to take part in it, and the mechanics find it their interest to make themselves useful in return for occasional indulgences of food, and freer admission to the deck. The greater proportion, however, during the passage, are sunk in indolence, to which the ordinary duties of washing and cleansing the prisons, though highly salutary in themselves, and performed with great regularity, afford but slight interruption.

The practices of thieving from each other, quarrelling and gambling for their allowances of wine and lime-juice, are the common offences that occur during the voyage; and they are most easily restrained and punished, by depriving the convicts of money and keeping it in deposit for them; and by strictly observing that the allowance of wine and lime-juice is taken by every convict in the presence of an officer, at the place of distribution. The issue of these two articles is rightly left to the discretion of the surgeon superintendent; and a temporary deduction of the allowance of wine is not unfrequently resorted to as a salutary punishment, and is rendered more effectual, by obliging the offending individuals to attend and administer the allowance they have forfeited to those who conduct themselves well.

It is generally observed, that the convicts from London are found to be more seriously affected by scurvy, debility and pneumonic diseases than those of more robust habits, and who have been accustomed to agricultural pursuits; and it is equally observable, that the moral habits of the first of these clams of convicts are more depraved, and that they are consequently less easily controlled than those from the country.

The convicts embarked in Ireland generally arrive in New South Wales in a very healthy state; and are found to be more obedient and more sensible of kind treatment during the passage than any other class. Their separation from their native country is observed to make a stronger impression upon their minds, both on their departure and during the voyage; and the ignorance in which most of them are respecting their future fate, tends to preserve those salutary impressions until its termination.

The aged and the infirm convicts frequently suffer so much from debility and the use of salt provisions, that the surgeons find it necessary to support them with a constant diet of preserved meat and other medical comforts; an unless such convicts have received sentences of transportation for life, it seems to be a great aggravation of their bodily sufferings, as well as great augmentation of expense, to send them to New South Wales for any shorter periods.

Mental suffering forms but a small part of the punishment of the voyage. Instances have occurred in which it has both produced disease and aggravated it; and this has unfortunately occurred in cases where it would have been more desirable to have diminished punishment than to have augmented it. The pressure of the voyage, where it is felt at all, weighs most heavily upon those feelings that are most respectable, and which are perhaps the last that the worst men lose. Such instances are rare, and as the voyage is now conducted, it produces no greater degree of bodily inconvenience to ordinary men than many are exposed to who are not in a state of punishment, and certainly it is not found to be productive of injury to their constitutions. The uninterrupted association, however, amongst the convicts, to which it gives rise, and the habitual indolence that it encourages, are strong reasons for abridging its continuance.

The experience of many years has now established the safety, as well as ease, with which the voyage to New South Wales may be performed. No ships have arrived in a disabled state in consequence of disasters at sea, and none have occurred in that part of the voyage where they are most to be apprehended, viz. in Bass's Straits. The principal causes of delay have arisen in cases where ships have attempted to keep too near the west coast of Africa before they have passed the Equator, or when they have arrived on the western coast of New South Wales in the months of December, January and February. In the first of these events they have generally repaired to the island of St. Helena for a fresh supply of water; and in the latter, some inconvenience has been sustained from its exhaustion, and from the delay in making a passage through Bass's Straits against easterly winds, or in rounding the south-west cape of Van Dieman's Land.

With a view to meet these difficulties, an accurate calculation of the supply of water should be made soon after passing the Equator, as it is during that period of the voyage that the consumption is the greatest, and that disease most generally begins to show itself.

It is from a consideration of both these circumstances, that the expediency of resorting to Rio de Janeiro, or to the Cape of Good Hope, or the possibility of making the voyage direct, should be regulated; and the supply of water should be required to be stated on the log-book of the captain, and the journal of the surgeon, as the principal justification of stopping at either of these ports. The detentions at Rio de Janeiro, and the difficulties experienced in obtaining water there, together with the introduction of spirits among the convicts, are evils of serious importance. The attention of the captain and surgeon, instead of being devoted to the care of the ship and convicts, is much interrupted by commercial speculations of their own. The convicts, for the sake of security, are ordered to resume their irons; and it may well be doubted whether these circumstances, combined with the effect of a very warm temperature, do not counterbalance the advantages of a temporary change in their diet, and a more abundant supply of water.

The Cape of Good Hope is a better place of resort for convict ships, except in the three winter months of June, July and August; and it may be remarked, that the detention of vessels at that place has not been so protracted as at Rio de Janeiro.

Circumstances may arise in the passage from England to the Line, and so much delay, and consequently such an exhaustion of the stock of water may take place, that a resort to one or other of those places may become unavoidable; but the captains and surgeons superintendent should be enjoined to make the voyage direct if possible, and should be held to give a very clear proof of the necessity of any deviation.

A reference to a return of voyages performed by different convict ships from England and Ireland to New South Wales, from the year 1810 to the end of the year 1820, with which I was favoured by the Commissioners of the Navy Board, and the abstract that I have since made from it, will show the comparative advantages attending the three different courses. The average length of 44 direct voyages, made during the above periods, is found to be 127 days. The number of convicts so conveyed was 7,657, and out of these, 71 died on the passage and 97 were landed sick. The average length of 38 voyages, touching at Rio le Janeiro in the passage, is found to be 156 days; and out of 6,470 convicts conveyed, 132 died, and 123 were landed sick. The average length of 11 voyages, and touching at the Cape of Good Hope, is found to be 146 days; and out of 1,912 convicts conveyed, nine died on the passage, and 57 were landed sick.

The advantages, therefore, of the direct passage from England to New South Wales are very apparent, both in the point of economy of the lives, as well as the subsistence of the convicts.

The temptations to the masters, and to the surgeons superintendent to touch at Rio de Janeiro, and to purchase sugar and tobacco there, have at all times been great. The profits upon tie sale of these adventures in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, will always tempt them to create pretexts for the circuitous passages, as long as it is understood that they will be allowed to land their goods on their arrival.

The circumstances under which that permission has been given and continued, will more properly be discussed when the subject of the trade of New South Wales is considered. I will at present only remark, that a great temptation to a violation of the rules prescribed to them by the Navy Board, has been held out to such of the surgeons superintendent as were proceeding to New South Wales on appointments front England, by a practice that has long prevailed in the colony of allowing such persons the liberty of importing both spirits and tobacco free of duty. The last instance in which it occurred, was that of Dr. Bromley, surgeon of the female convict ship Wellington; who, it appears, was allowed to land 150 gallons of spirits, one hogshead and six dozen bottles of wine, and o baskets of tobacco at Port Jackson. Dr. Bromley likewise availed himself of the very unusual and protracted stay of the ship Wellington at Rio de Janeiro, to put on board several articles that he conceived would be useful to him in the colony, limiting their extent only to the tonnage that had been allowed to him in England.

The transportation of female convicts to New South Wales, is a subject that presents more difficulty than any that occurs in the subjects now under consideration.

In consequence of the freer admission to the deck that is allowed to the female convicts during the passage, their health is rarely affected by the same causes that are prejudicial to that of the male convicts; and the proportionate loss occasioned during a period of ten years, appears to be considerably less.

The allowance of provisions and medical comforts to the female convicts, is ample; and it appears that change of climate and regularity of diet have operated very favourably on the constitutions of many that had been debilitated by previous habits of licentiousness and vice.

The same complaints respecting the conduct: of the masters of the transports, in withholding the due allowance of provisions, are found to occur amongst the female convicts as amongst the males, and the same compromises of that offence take place on their approach to the port of destination.

The moral effects of separation from their native country are less sensibly felt by the female convicts; and when the first sensations of the sea voyage are subdued, their minds are more elevated by the prospects before them, than depressed by the recollection of those they have just quitted.

It has been found, that the establishment of schools, and the continuance, as far as circumstances will permit, of that salutary system of instruction and discipline that has been introduced into the female wards of Newgate, has tended materially to preserve good order and decent conduct. The want of means of employment for the women, is one of the great difficulties with which the most zealous promoters of this system have had to contend. Of the means that have yet been devised, those are obviously the best that are the most simple, and that are likely to afford a regulated profit at the end, rather than in the middle of the voyage. Of these, the most practicable wear to me to be the employment of weaving and making straw hats for the use of the male convicts in New South Wales; and that of making up the striped linen shirts that are issued to them there, as part of their allowance of clothing. A portion of the profits of their labour might be allowed to be received on landing, and the remainder might be held in deposit, and liable to be forfeited by misconduct.

All employments that have a tendency to encourage a passion for dress should be studiously avoided; and the female convicts should be compelled to consider, that the dress that is provided by the government is that which is most suitable to their condition: nothing, indeed, can be more unsuitable to it than the appearance that they have been allowed to make on their arrival in New South Wales, and nothing that ought to be more speedily checked, whenever a proper place of reception is completed, for those who are not assigned to individuals on their first arrival.

For the superintendence of the labour of the female convicts during the voyage, it would be very desirable to employ one of the numerous free women that are allowed to take their passage in the female convict ships. The selection of one female convict for the superintendence of all the rest, produces jealousy of her power without obedience to it; whereas a delegation of a small portion of authority to a married female of good character, who has opportunities that the surgeon cannot, and personally ought not to have, of watching and detecting misconduct both during the night and day, will enable him to punish with more certainty and effect, and to avoid that suspicion of guilty connivance, which, if once established amongst the convicts or crew, becomes a prelude and pretext for their disorders. The performance of this duty on board a female convict ship, must be subject to the direction and authority of the surgeon, who should also have the power of recommending a remuneration to be given by the Governor of New South Wales, regulated by the merits of the individual, and not exceeding ten pounds.

The instructions issued by the Navy Board to the surgeons superintendent and the masters of female convict ships, impose strict injunctions upon them to afford good example to their officers and crew, and to use their utmost endeavours to prevent improper intercourse between them and the female convicts. The repeated instances in which these injunctions have been violated, prove the difficulty, and, perhaps, the impossibility of entirely preventing it; and the best security against that violation is to be found in the characters of the surgeons and masters to whom this difficult task is assigned.

The instance of the ship Morley, commanded by Captain Brown, and superintended by Dr. Reed, and the occurrences that took place upon the voyage, together with the behaviour and appearance of the females upon their arrival in New South Wales, strongly attest the benefits that are derivable from good example, employment and attention to religious duties during the voyage. That these advantages were neither wholly attained, nor permanent in this instance, are facts that take away nothing from the merit or the importance of the service: under other circumstances, its value to the colony of New South Wales is capable of being realized, and at the present moment is well worth estimating, either in comparison with every instance that preceded it, or as a proof of what is practicable for the future. The difficulty that is most embarrassing, arises from the want of means of punishing the women and the sailors during the voyage, for the improper intercourse that takes place between them.

The confinement of the women to the prison-deck is not an effectual punishment, and it frequently causes a greater degree of annoyance to the well-conducted prisoners than to the parties themselves. Deprivation of the ordinary comforts, the use of a wooden collar and shaving the head, are the only practicable punishments that can be resorted to, and they are in some degree effectual, though their operation is unequal, and depends upon the character and the greater or less degree of sensibility to shame in the party that suffers them.

The use of violent and indecent language is one of the worst consequences of the intercourse between the women and the crew and the efforts made to correct it by the master and the officers of the ship, only lead to fresh insults and to greater provocation. The punishment and correction of the women, therefore, should be left, as much as possible, to the direction of the surgeon superintendent. The punishment of the crew for holding improper intercourse with them, in the voyages from England to New South Wales, is, according to the present state of the law, not provided for; and as no master, of a ship, however well disposed, will incur the risk of a mutiny of his crew for the sole purpose of preventing it, or the great degree of personal responsibility that would accrue from the infliction even of a moderate degree of corporal punishment, it would be advisable that the provisions of 37 Geo. c. 73, which at present are confined to ships trading to His Majesty's colonies and plantations in the West Indies, should be extended to those employed in conveying male and female convicts to New South Wales.

The punishment provided by that act, consists of a forfeiture of the wages and property of any seaman guilty of disobedience of such lawful commands as the master may think necessary to issue, for the effectual government of the vessel, and for suppressing vice and immorality of all kinds.

To give the master a power of inflicting corporal punishment for such an offence, would be dangerous; but as the forfeiture of wages may afford some cheek, though not an effectual one, over the licentious conduct of the sailors, it would be expedient to give it; and the power of awarding the forfeiture should be given to two or more magistrates of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, subject to an appeal to the Vice-admiralty court at Sydney.

A great improvement has undoubtedly arisen in the transportation of convicts, from the appointment of naval surgeons to the superintendence of the ships taken up for this service. Much attention has been paid by them to the instructions of the Navy Board, that enjoin an attention to the performance of religious duties; and their efforts in preserving health have been no less conspicuous and successful. In promoting these, it does not often happen that they meet with direct opposition from the masters of convict ships; but as there are points in their conduct, respecting which no other individual than the surgeon can be expected to hold a control, or afford information, it is of no small importance to make the surgeons as independent as possible of the favour of the master and the bounty of the owners.

During the continuance of peace, it is not likely that any difficulty will be experienced in obtaining the services of the naval surgeons, in the transportation of convicts; but as the knowledge that they acquire by one voyage in the manage. meet of the convicts, gives them a confidence that is eminently advantageous on the second, it seems desirable, that, such as return to England, with as much expedition as possible, and bring certificates of their good conduct, should have the preference of a second appointment. This arrangement, when established, will have the two fold advantage of stimulating them to a faithful performance of their duty, and of detaching them from those considerations of personal advantage, which they not unfrequently have sought, by stipulating with the owners for a continuance of their medical services in the ships that proceed from New South Wales to India. 'This stipulation is also very generally connected with that of extending them to the officers and crew of the convict ships in the passage from England, in return for a table allowance found either by the captain or the owners; and an instance occurred lately, in which a surgeon of a convict ship recovered from the captain, in an action brought in the supreme court of New South Wales, the estimated amount of medical advice and services performed by him for the captain and the crew, during this period. It does not appear very clearly from the printed instructions of the Navy Board that are given to the surgeons, whether the medical attendance of the ship's officers and crew is included in the duty to which they are appointed; and as it is of importance to remove from the minds of the surgeons all expectation of reward from any other quarter than that from whence they derive their appointment, in the first instance, or may hereafter hope to receive another, it is expedient that all further doubt upon this point should be removed. On the other hand, it is only reasonable, that the surgeons should receive the full amount of the sum that they have to pay for their passage from New South Wales to England, which cannot be estimated at less than 95l. when it is made direct, as well as an allowance for lodging money during their residence in Sydney. The augmentation of expense occasioned by these allowances will be amply compensated by the inducement, that they will hold out to men of respectability to engage, and to continue in the service; and it will leave no excuse for want of vigilance in observing, and of fidelity in exposing the corrupt application of the liberal provision that is made by government for the use of the convicts.


Debarkation and Muster of the Convicts, Male and Female.

THE interval that elapses between the arrival of a convict ship in New South Wales, and the debarkation of the convicts, is one that affords the fullest exercise for their ingenuity in the arts of imposition and concealment, and also in devising the means of their future indulgence.

The selection of mechanics for the government works is so well known, and so much dreaded, for the reasons that will be stated hereafter, that it was deemed necessary to award a punishment to all those who should be guilty of concealing their trades.

The vigilance of the chief engineer at Sydney is particularly directed to this object; and if he fails in accomplishing it, when the convicts are yet on board, the superintendent Hutchinson is not slow in acquiring information, by which the concealed mechanic is taken from the employment of the individual who may have secured him, and is made to join one of the government gangs.

Vide Government and Public Notice, Sydney Gazette, 19 April 1817.]

It will likewise happen, that from a hope of being employed in Sydney, several will declare themselves to be mechanics who have little or no knowledge of the trade they profess. Those who have brought money or goods with them, are actively employed in placing or selling them advantageously; in acquainting their friends with their arrival, or in soliciting those to whom they may be recommended, or those whom they can afford to pay, to apply for them as assigned servants.

The position that the convict ships take in the harbour, during the interval between arrival and debarkation, is not such as to insure a proper degree of vigilance in preventing communication with the shore; all are anchored and sometimes crowded in Sydney cove; whereas it would not be attended with any real inconvenience if they were made to anchor in front of Dawes's battery, where they would lie between the guns and the observation of that work and those of the new fort on Bennelong's Point, and would, be compelled to remain there until the morning appointed for the debarkation. The sentries on board are ordered to prevent persons from visiting the ships without a permission of the naval officer; but this duty is feebly performed; and until the establishment of the police guard boat, there were no effectual means of preventing communication between the ships and the shore. Even at present, the government and other boats manned with convicts are frequently seen hovering round the convict ships; and the naval officer's boat, in which they are first visited, is manned by convict sailors, and steered by a coxswain, who is an emancipated convict.

In the period that I am now describing, the governor's secretary, Mr. John Thomas Campbell, and the superintendent of convicts, William Hutchinson, repair on board for the purpose of mustering the convicts. This muster is of a very detailed nature, and is taken by Mr. J. T. Campbell on the quarter-deck of the vessel, in the presence of the surgeon superintendent, the captain and ship's company. Each convict is asked his name, the time and place of his trial, his sentence, native place, age, trade and occupation; and the answers are compared (and corrected if necessary) by the description in the indents and in the lists transmitted from the hulks. After ascertaining the height of each convict by actual admeasurement, and registering it in several columns, as well as the colour of the hair, eyes, the complexion or any particular mark that may tend to establish the identity of each convict, an inquiry is made respecting the treatment that each has received during the passage, whether he has received his full ration of provisions; whether he has any complaint to make against the captain, his officers and crew; and lastly, whether he any bodily ailment or infirmity. A further inquiry is made of the surgeon, respecting the conduct of each convict during the passage, and whether he has any bodily infirmity that may prevent him from being actively employed.

The muster of 150 convicts conducted in this manner, occupies the secretary from five to seven hours; and if the complaints are numerous, it is protracted to the following day.

The correctness and particularity of this muster is of great importance; for when signed by the secretary, it forms a check upon any error that may have crept into the indents and assignments of the convicts that are transmitted from the Secretary of State's office to the governor of New South Wales, and connects the date of trial and description of their offences with a complete identification of their persons, highly useful for purposes of police, as well as for the regulations respecting tickets of leave and certificates of exemptions from penal servitude.

From the period of his appointment to the office of secretary to the governor, in February 1810, until the latest period of holding it, the musters of the convicts have been taken and conducted by Mr. J. T. Campbell in person, with the single exception of those that arrived in the ship "Indefatigable" in the year 1815.

In his absence from Sydney, on the arrival of that vessel, the muster was taken by Captain Gill, the chief engineer. It is in his handwriting, and in the usual form, but not signed by him; and from some circumstance, that Mr. Campbell was not able to explain, the original lists or indents of the convicts embarked in that vessel did not arrive, nor has any application been made for them till a very late period.


THE efficacy of the inquiry made by the governor's secretary into the complaints of the convicts, respecting their treatment during the passage, is not so apparent as the other advantages that it secures; for, at the conclusion of the musters of two ships, the "Daphne" and the "Janus", where serious complaints were made against the captains of the vessels, for subduction of the proper allowance of food, or the substitution of the bad provisions of the ship, for the good provisions found by government, as well as for highly improper conduct, it had been recorded by Mr. Campbell, that "the prisoners declared (without one exception) that they had been well and kindly treated by the captain, his officers, and the surgeon superintendent, and that they had got their rations, and every allowance regularly, and to their perfect satisfaction."

This memorandum was correct, in point of fact, and as far as Mr. Campbell's inquiries on board the ship were concerned, no complaint having been made on those occasions to him; but it afterwards appeared, that a compromise had taken place between the captain and certain of the convicts in the "Daphne", and a verbal promise between the captain and two female convicts on board the "Janus"; and as the performance of one was delayed until after they were disembarked, the silence of all the parties when on board, and when asked if they had any complaint to make, was adopted by Mr. Campbell as negativing the existence of any.

Some delay or reluctance in the performance of the conditions of the compromise having taken place on the part of the captains, the complaints were brought to the notice of the governor, and by him referred to the investigation of a bench of magistrates, who found, that although in the case of the "Daphne", the regular rations of provisions had not been issued to the convicts, yet that previous to their arrival at Port Jackson, they had agreed to accept, and had, in fact, accepted an equivalent in money from the captain, of which they afterwards repented, and therefore were not entitled to redress; and in the ease of the "Janus", the magistrates found ample reason for reporting very strongly against the conduct of the Captain.

Muster of the Convicts by the Governor.]

When the muster has been completed on board the convict ships, the governor appoints a day for their disembarkation. At an early hour on that day the convicts are dressed in their new clothing, and are marched into the yard of the gaol at Sydney, where they are arranged in two lines for the inspection of the governor; they are permitted to bring with them the bedding that they have used on board the transport ship, and such articles of clothing and effects as they may have brought with them.

Address of the Governor to the Convicts.]

The captain of the transport, the surgeon superintendent, the chief engineer, and the superintendent of convicts, accompany the governor in his inspection; and the superintendent, as he proceeds, repeats aloud from a distribution list, previously prepared, the destination that has been given to the several convicts, either by the chief engineer for the use of government, or by the applications of individuals signified to the magistrates of the different districts, or to the superintendent himself. In this part of the inspection, the governor receives the report of the captain and superintendent respecting the good or bad conduct of any individuals during the passage, and promises to attend to their recommendations; he rarely alters the destination of the convicts, made by the superintendent, but he sometimes desires that particular descriptions of men may be assigned to individuals, whose applications more immediately occur to him. These orders are signified to the superintendent and chief engineer; and when the governor has finished the inspection, he addresses the convicts in an audible tone, commencing his address with an inquiry, whether they have any complaints to make, whether their treatment during the passage has been humane and kind, and whether they have had their proper allowance of provisions. If any complaint is signified, the name of the individual is taken down, and the inquiry is referred to the police magistrates; but, if the convicts are silent, or if they declare generally that they are satisfied, the governor proceeds in his address. He expresses his hope that the change which has been effected in their situation, will lead to a change in their conduct; that they will become new men; and he explicitly informs them that as no reference will be had to the past, their future conduct in their respective situations will alone entitle them to reward or indulgence.

It frequently happens, that the convicts brought by two vessels are inspected at the same time; but no variation made in the mode of conducting it; and when concluded, the convicts destined for distribution by the magistrates, are sent either by water to Paramatta, under the care of a constable, or marched to Liverpool with their baggage; they are lodged in the gaols of the different towns as they pass, and are assigned to the settlers in the districts according to the application that has been made for them, regulated however by the discretion and will of the magistrates who assign them.

In the disembarkation and distribution of the female convicts, a part only of these regulations is observed. The governor's secretary and the superintendent of convicts, take the muster of the females on board the ship; the same inquiries are made as in the males; but the female convicts are rarely seen by the governor afterwards, and they are allowed to land in their own dresses, and not in those provided for them by the Navy Board. Such of them as are not assigned to individuals in Sydney, or permitted to join their husbands, are sent by water to the factory at Paramatta.

The muster and inspection of the convicts landed in Van Dieman's Land, is conducted nearly on the same principles as that which has just been described; but since the year 1817, a detailed description of the persons of the convicts has been made by the magistrate of police of Hobart Town, and kept in his office as a future guide to the identity of their persons, either on application for passes, tickets of leave or pardon. The lieutenant-governor's secretary proceeds on board the convict ships, attended by the lieutenant governor's clerk, and makes a list or muster roll of the convicts, describing the number, name, time and place of trial, their sentences, age, native place, trade, description of person and character. This muster roll is derived from an actual muster of the convicts, checked and compared with their state and appearance after the voyage, but the inquiries respecting complaints are not so particular as those at Sydney, nor is any note made of them at the end of the muster roll. The chief engineer repairs on board to make a particular inquiry after the trades of the convicts, and their usefulness to government; and at an early day the inspection takes place in the gaol yard. The lieutenant-governor's address to them is limited to an inquiry after their treatment on the passage, approbation of their clean and orderly appearance, and a recommendation to them of good conduct in the colony. A very remarkable difference, however, takes place between the mode of distribution, as practised at Sydney; for it appears, by the evidence of Major Bell, that as soon as the lieutenant-governor has approved the selection of the convicts, for the immediate use of government, the settlers are allowed to choose for themselves; an entry being made at the time of the settler's name, and distinguishing those who are to be subsisted at the expense of government, and at the expense of the settler. Those who are not so allotted, are distributed amongst the public works at or near Hobart Town, and are afterwards assigned, as they are applied for, by the settlers, the application being invariably made to the lieutenant-governor, and not as at Sydney to the superintendent of convicts at that place.

On the arrival of a considerable number at Hobart Town, the lieutenant-governor frequently orders a detachment to be sent to Launceston and George Town. These are landed at a projecting point of the harbour that has no communication by land with the town; from whence, after being inspected by the lieutenant-governor, they are sent in boats to a landing-place on the river Derwent, and twelve miles above Hobart Town. Under the escort of a serjeant's guard, they proceed by easy marches to Launceston, a distance of one hundred and twenty miles, where they are distributed to the settlers, or sent in boats by the river Tamer to George Town.

Taking the circumstances that have now been detailed in their natural order, I will proceed to observe upon the defects that have appeared to me to be most obvious in this part of the management of the convicts.

By the prevention of intercourse between the convicts and the inhabitants of the colony, in the interval that takes place between their arrival and landing, a salutary apprehension and uncertainty respecting their future fate may be created; and instead of indulging in speculations of profitable employment, either of their property or interest, or securing advantageous situations in the service of their friends, which an early communication with the shore never fails to open, their minds might at this moment, more than at any other, be impressed with one of the worst characters of their condition, the hardships they have to endure in the service of an unknown master.

A very meritorious attempt was made at Sydney, on the suggestion of Mr. Justice Field, to afford opportunities to convicts on their arrival to deposit the sums of money that they might have brought with them from England, in the hands of certain individuals, who had associated for the purpose of forming a saving bank in New South Wales, upon the principles and plan of those so generally adopted in England. Mr. Justice Field was the author and the promoter of this measure; and under the patronage of Governor Macquarrie, who presided at the meeting, it was agreed, that it should be carried into effect by a committee consisting of some very respectable individuals in Sydney. The rules of the society were published and printed, together with a plain and sensible address from Mr. Justice Field to the convicts on their arrival, showing them the advantages to be derived from the establishment of the savings bank, and inviting them to deposit their money in it. This publication has been distributed amongst the convicts on their arrival, and before their disembarkation, but its success has been inconsiderable. Indeed, when the advantageous modes of investment of money are made known to the convicts by their friends on shore, it is not to be supposed that they will be satisfied with the moderate though certain profit of the savings bank. It accordingly appears, from the evidence of the superintendent Hutchinson, that the convicts, on arrival, prefer depositing their money in the New South Wales bank, and in the hands of individuals, from both of whom they can easily and immediately draw it, for the purpose of investing it in the purchase of small tenements in the town, or of extra allowances for their immediate use. It would further appear, that the superintendent, who is in the habit of warning the convicts of the risk they incur by keeping their money in their own possession, is not unwilling to become the depository of it himself.

This last circumstance became known to me through the complaint of a convict named Hartley, who, on his arrival from England, made a deposit in the hands of the superintendent Hutchinson, of Bank of England notes, colonial notes, and guineas, amounting to 89l. 14s. and not being able to obtain it on the first application that he made, was recommended by his master, Mr. George Cox, of Richmond, to apply to me. On inquiry, I found that a receipt of the cashier of the bank for the sum of 89l. 14s. "given in favour of Mr. William Hutchinson, on account and payable on demand", had been indorsed by him, and formed the only document upon which the convict, W. Hartley, could lay claim to the sum deposited. He applied to the bank for payment, but was refused, until being informed that a complaint had been made, Hutchinson paid over the money to Mr. George Cox, the master of Hartley. It likewise appeared that a similar receipt was given by Hutchinson to a convict named Upton, on his arrival, for the sum of 32l. 11s. 6d. on the recommendation of Governor Macquarrie and Mr. Secretary Campbell, to the last of whom Upton was assigned as servant. No complaint was made of the undue detention of this sum, but it is adduced only in proof of the practice observed by Hutchinson, in becoming the depository of the property of convict; and as a very probable cause of the failure of the attempt to establish a savings bank in Sydney.

The property and money of those convicts who have not the means of investing or depositing it on their arrival, points them out as objects of plunder to many of their brethren in Sydney; and numerous complaints have been made to me of losses and robberies committed in their way from the place of debarkation to the gaol yard, in returning from thence, and afterwards to embark for Paramatta, or to the places in which they are assigned at Sydney. Those who are ill-disposed and careless, become the victims of the many temptations that surround them, and a great deal of intoxication is observed amongst the newly arrived convicts on the evening of the day on which they land. Constables are appointed to attend the convicts on their landing, to the gaol, and on their embarkation for Paramatta; but whether from interest, or from inactivity, they do not succeed in restraining them from communication with people in the streets, or in preventing them from leaving their ranks or exchanging their clothes for food. In the noisy and joyous recognition of their friends and acquaintance, in the tumult of hasty and unequal bargains, or in disappointments for the loss of their property and bedding, they proceed from the boats to the gaol.

In the presence of the governor these feelings are suppressed; and in the countenances and demeanour of a few, especially of those who have been in the higher ranks of life, some indications of shame and of sorrow may be discovered. The official inquiries, respecting the convicts, that are instituted before they are brought into the governor's presence, at the muster in the gaol, are made with the sole view of ascertaining their competence for employment in the works of government. The difference of their crimes, or terms of punishment, and their previous character in England, are points that are altogether overlooked, as much by the nature of the governor's address to the convicts, as by the selection of the superintendent or the inhabitants of the colony. It has been customary, indeed, for the surgeons superintendent to enumerate and recommend to the governor the individuals who have conducted themselves well on board the ships during the passage, as a title to some indulgence on their arrival, and Governor Macquarrie has in a few instances acceded to these recommendations; but it is stated by the superintendent son, that they are little to be relied on, and that he has found the men to differ e greatly from the characters so given to them, on trial. It was found moreover, that the surgeons not unfrequently availed themselves of this opportunity to communicate to their friends in New South Wales, the qualifications of such convicts as had e become known to them during the passage, and were likely to render them valuable servants; but as the practice, though highly beneficial to the settlers, as well as to the convicts, was found to interfere with the demand of government for the best have not latterly been much attended to, and in some instances have been entirely disregarded. One of these instances is to be found in the document A.20.

Applications are not unfrequently made for convicts newly arrived, by persons related to, or connected with them, or in consequence of recommendations that it they bring with them from England; and such applications are attended to, unless the party applied for happens to be a mechanic, or to possess any qualification useful to government. In such, as indeed in every other case, this principle of reservation prevails, and the convict is sent to join one of the government gangs.

Tradesmen whose services are not required by government, such as tailors, shoemakers and others, and those who possess money, or property capable of being converted into money, are most frequently selected by the overseers and the clerks, in the different offices at Sydney, on the condition of paying them a certain weekly sum, generally amounting to ten shillings, which is reduced to five, if the convict gives up his government ration. In return for this payment, and as long as it is regularly made, the convict is allowed to be at large at Sydney, and elsewhere, and to be at his own disposal. The condition of a convict under this indulgence therefore, becomes at once superior to that of his comrades, whom he has so lately left, and if his conduct be such as to avoid the notice of the police or the superintendent Hutchinson, he has an opportunity of maintaining himself with comfort.

The practical evils of this system will be noticed hereafter; at present it is only mentioned as one instance among many of the inequalities in the condition of the convicts on their first entrance into servitude. Individuals, however, who have succeeded in obtaining a knowledge of the pecuniary means of the convicts, and who reside in Sydney, will also apply for them; and in return for that application, obtain a remuneration in money from the convict, dispensing with their services, and only preserving a nominal control over them. The convicts who are known to possess money to a considerable amount, or who have been clerks in the counting-houses of merchants in England, have, in most cases, received tickets of leave on their arrival, or are allowed to be assigned in the manner above mentioned.

Under this indulgence, they either embark in trade and become retail dealers, or are employed as clerks in the commissariat department, or in the offices of the attornies and merchants.

Applications for, and assignments of, convicts. Sydney Gazette, 10 January 1818.]

The applications for convicts from the settlers are, by a late order of Governor Macquarrie, required to be made to the principal superintendent, William Hutchinson; and a reproof is also conveyed in the order, to those who have made immediate applications to the governor for any particular description of labourers.

At the early period of Governor Macquarrie's administration, the applications for convicts, which were then more pressing than they have latterly been, were directed to be addressed to Mr. Secretary Campbell, by such persons as were resident in Sydney, and to the magistrates of the different districts, by those who resided there and as a guide for distribution, it was required by the latter that they should state the number of acres that they had in cultivation. Of late years, as applications from the settlers became more numerous, they have fallen entirely into the hands of William Hutchinson, the superintendent of convicts; for although the Magistrates in the different districts distribute such convicts as are sent to them, regulated in point of number by the applications that are made, and transmitted in the first instance to Governor Macquarrie, and through him to the superintendent Hutchinson, yet applications are made to him by individuals at a distance, for a particular description of labourers, and are assigned by him at Sydney; and he possesses altogether the power of making a selection there of the best or the worst convicts, or a due proportion of each, for the service of the different districts. The list of applications for convicts is also kept in his office at Sydney, and every person who applies, causes his name and residence to be taken down, together with a description of the class of convict that he wishes to have.

The distribution was formerly made by lot, according to a scheme explained by Mr. Secretary Campbell to the magistrates, and adverted to in a government public notice, bearing date the 6th July 1811, and published in the Sydney Gazette. This measure was resorted to, at a period when there was a pressing demand for labourers of any description; but those settlers only were allowed to send in their name, who were "considered as most in want and best entitled to receive them." The order does not indeed specify who the person was that should have the power of determining this preliminary and important question; but as the lottery was to take place under the direction of the magistrates, and the distribution also, it is fair to presume that they exercised a discretion upon that as well as other points. Indeed it is distinctly stated by the Reverend Mr. Marsden, that "as he considered it to be a degradation to the honest part of the society to be put on the same level with the class that had been convicts, he allowed the former to select, in the first place, such men as would answer their purpose, and then the settlers, who had been convicts, were allowed to draw lots for the remainder."

As the number of convicts increased in the colony, the mode of distribution by lottery fell into disuse, and the exercise of this great patronage has fallen into the hands of the Superintendent Hutchinson at Sydney, and has occasionally been divided between him and Major Druid the chief engineer, while the distribution in the districts has been altogether in the hands of the magistrates.

It appears by the instructions that have been transmitted from time to time by Governor Macquarrie upon this subject to the chief engineer and the principal superintendent, as well as by the evidence of Mr. John and Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, that the applications of individuals to the governor for mechanics and for agricultural labourers, have been sometimes successful; but the assignment of a mechanic has always been considered the greatest favour that could be bestowed by the governor, and it has been granted only to individuals whom he wished to distinguish or oblige, or who could plead the execution of some important undertaking. The in numerous refusals however that have been given to applications of this kind, and grounded always upon the important works that government was carrying on, have latterly rendered them less frequent, and have augmented the general dissatisfaction, that the monopoly of the best mechanical and agricultural labour by it, government has at all times created, but more particularly during the government of Major-general Macquarrie.

Another principle observed for some in the distribution of the convicts, during the period in which the ships were ordered to proceed to Port Jackson in the first instance, was a detachment of an inferior description, for the service of Van Dieman's Land, as well as a detention at Sydney of such mechanics as were discovered in the ships on their first arrival there. This appears both from the evidence of Mr. Humphrey, the police magistrate at Hobart Town, as well as from a memorandum of Governor Macquarrie to the superintendent Hutchinson, in which he desires him to reserve for Van Dieman's Land a certain number of able men from the convict ship "Chapman", as he conceives it to be of no use to send weak and infirm men thither; an admonition that could not have been required from the governor, if he had not known that the practice had previously existed.

Such are the principles upon which the distribution of the numerous convicts that have arrived in New South Wales has generally been made; and before I proceed to describe the manner in which the system is pursued at Van Dieman's Land, I think it necessary to notice the want of attention that has prevailed, until a very late period, at Sydney, to the circumstances of those convicts who have been transported a second and a third time. Although the knowledge of these facts is transmitted in the hulk lists, or acquired without difficulty during the passage, it never has occurred to Governor Macquarrie or to the superintendent of convicts, to make any difference in the condition of these men, not even to disappoint the views that they may be supposed to have indulged by the success of a criminal enterprize in England, and by transferring the fruits of it to New South Wales.

To accomplish this very simple but important object, nothing more was necessary than to consign these men to any situation rather than that which their friends had selected for them, and distinctly to declare in the presence of their comrades at the first muster on their arrival, that no consideration or favour would be shown to those who had violated the law a second time, and that the mitigation of their sentences must be indefinitely postponed.

Debarkation, muster and distribution of convicts, in Van Dieman's Land.]

On the arrival of a convict ship at Hobart Town, as much notice as possible is sent to the settlers, to enable them to attend at the time of distribution, although the period between their arrival and debarkation is generally very short. The same reservation for mechanics is made for government, as there is at Sydney; but with that exception the settlers are allowed to select such men as, upon their own personal inquiry, will best suit them.

The applications for convict labourers are invariably made to the office of the lieutenant-governor; and that extensive patronage and power of distribution, that at Sydney is shared between the chief engineer and the superintendent of convicts, is at Van Dieman's Land reserved in the hands of the lieutenant-governor. A greater degree of method and regularity is also observed at Hobart Town in the regulation of the convicts on their first arrival; and the magistrate of police, Mr. Humphrey, becomes immediately acquainted with the character and person of each, and has established in his office, since the year 1817, a system of perpetual reference and general control, that has been found very useful in the detection of crime. A large share of those duties, that at Sydney are but imperfectly performed by the principal superintendent, have fallen into the hands of Mr. Humphrey, magistrate of police, and Major Bell, the acting engineer, by reason of the advanced age and incompetence of the officer who holds the situation of superintendent at Hobart Town; and the effects of their superior intelligence are very apparent in the order and methodical arrangement with which this part of the convict system is conducted. Unfortunately, from the want of a place of reception on their first arrival, the convicts are obliged to provide themselves with lodgings in the town, which they pay for either by the produce of their labour in their extra time, or by domestic services performed for their landlords.

The works carried on by government at Hobart Town, not comprehending. agricultural establishments, or, until lately, the construction of roads, the lieutenant-governor has never found it necessary to retain the stronger and more useful labourers for the service of government, and has shown a very commendable disposition to assist the settlers on their arrival, or persons engaged in useful undertakings, with mechanics from the government gangs.

The selection, however, of the convicts, both by the government and the settlers, proceeds, as at Sydney, altogether upon their capacity for labour; although Major Bell, acting engineer, is much disposed, from a few instances that have come before him, to believe in the benefit that might be derived front the selection founded upon better principles, and upon a reference to former good conduct.


THE application for distribution of the female convicts is regulated by different principles. Great difficulty is found in preventing boats from hovering round the ships; but no person is permitted to go on board without a pass from the superintendent. This privilege is granted only to inquire for servants; and the applications having been previously made to the superintendent, the women are sent to their respective places of destination as soon as the muster is completed.

The governor has not been in the habit of inspecting the female convicts on their arrival, but a list of them and the persons to whom they are assigned is constantly sent to him. Each person who receives a female convict signs an indenture in which he obliges himself, under a penalty of 201. to retain her in his service for the space of three years, providing sufficient subsistence, clothing, washing and lodging, and not to part with her either directly or indirectly during the term, without the approbation or authority of a magistrate, or in case of misconduct proved and determined before him. Married female convicts are assigned without such indenture to their husbands, whether free or convict; and, in many cases; both receive tickets of leave, as affording greater facilities of support.

The females likewise who bring property with them, or are recommended by the captains or surgeons superintendent of the ships, receive tickets of leave on their arrival. The consequences of this indulgence are described by the principal superintendent to give encouragement to improper intercourse between the officers of the ships and the women, and to lead to their cohabitation with individuals in Sydney that, not unfrequently, terminates in marriage.

Those who are accompanied by children, are rarely taken by settlers, and are sent to the factory at Paramatta. Indeed of late it would appear by the evidence of the superintendent Hutchinson, that a greater number of female convicts of every description have arrived, than were required by the settlers of New South Wales; and consequently those who were not sent to Van Dieman's Land, were consigned to the factory at Paramatta.

In their passage thither from Sydney, which, according to the evidence of Mr. Oakes, lasts from the morning till the evening, if the wind be fair, and during the night if it be adverse, great irregularities take place; and the women frequently arrive at Paramatta in a state of intoxication, after being plundered of such property as they may have brought from the ships with them, during the time they stop at a public house on the shore of the Paramatta river. They are accompanied by a constable in each boat, who, in case of negligence, would be liable to be broke; but this precaution does not prevent the existence of the irregularities that it is meant to check.

Nature of the Employment of Convicts when retained in the service of Government.

I SHALL now proceed to describe the manner in which the convicts are lodged and employed when retained in the service of government.

The construction of buildings in the towns of Sydney, Paramatta, Windsor and Liverpool, has afforded constant employment to a very large body of convicts, since the period of Governor Macquarrie's command; and latterly, as the number of buildings and the demand for materials has increased, establishments have been formed near Sydney, where timber bus been procured and cut, and lime has been burnt from the oyster shells with which the rocks and shores of the Paramatta river abound. Large quantities of both these materials have also been imported from the settlement at Hunter's River, but as they were not found sufficient for the consumption of the principal settlement, other and nearer establishments were formed, at Pennant Hills and Lane Cove. To these occupations have lately been added two others, the making of roads and bridges, and the clearing and cultivation of land.

The document R, No. 20, exhibits the number and description of buildings and works that have been undertaken and finished since the year 1810, or that are yet in progress at the several settlements in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, as well as the dates of their completion; and it appears by the document A. No. 29. that out of 11,767 male convicts that have arrived in New South Wales only, from the 1st January 1814 to the 29th December 1820, 4,587 have been taken by government; and that out of this number, 1,587 were mechanics, and 3,000 were labourers. In the number of mechanics have been included 30 farming men, and in the class of labourers 140 boys, all of whom arrived in the year 1820.

In the month of August in the year 1819, the number of mechanics, labourers and overseers employed in the settlements of New South Wales and receiving rations, exclusive of those at Hunter's River, and of the women employed at the Paramatta factory, amounted to 2,613, and in the year 1820, this number was augmented to 3,275. The document A. No. 77, exhibits the number and description of the several mechanics and labourers employed at each settlement, as well as the number of overseers and clerks that were required for their superintendence and management; those at Sydney alone amounting in the year 1819 to 1,395 and in the year 1820 to 1,524.

Since the establishment of the convict barrack at Sydney, in the month of June 1819, a considerable number of convicts, varying, and gradually increasing from 600 to 1,000, have been lodged there. Previous to this period, there existed no place either of lodging or temporary confinement for any of them; and after the inspection of those that had newly arrived was concluded, they were told by the principal superintendent "to go and provide lodging where they could for the remainder of the day, and to come to their work in the morning." All the government labourers and convicts, at this period, were allowed to leave their work at three o'clock every day, and were enabled by their own labour to pay for their weekly lodgings and washing. Those who are now permitted to remain out of barrack, are compelled to work the whole of the day, but are allowed to employ themselves after the hours of government work, and on the whole of Saturdays, for their own benefit. The number of this description amounted, on the 11th December 1st, to 594, and the indulgence is granted to the best-conducted men, to dime who are married and have families, and to those who cohabit with female convicts and have children to support.

As the number of convicts increased in the year 1820 beyond the capacity of the convict barrack to contain them, the indulgence has been necessarily much extended, and without the discrimination or which it was formerly susceptible. The chief engineer and the principal superintendent of convicts, both exercise the power of ordering a convict into the barrack by way of punishment; and the Name power is likewise exercised by the magistrates at Sydney.

A barrack was constructed in the latter part of the year 1819, at a place called the Brick Fields, on the entrance to the town of Sydney from Paramatta, capable of containing 180 convicts. The principal object proposed in this building, was to fix those who were employed in taking care of the horses carts, and bullocks, near the place where they were kept, and it is called the carters barrack.

Attached to this building, are stables for 90 horses, and offices of every description; and latterly have been added separate barracks for boys, and a small yard for coarse carpenters, smiths and wheelwrights work.

A small house near the dock yard affords lodging to a few of the convicts employed in the navigation of the government boats; and these three buildings comprise the whole of the accommodation that is at present afforded by government to the convicts in its employ at Sydney.

The convict barrack is built at the north-east end of a large open space of ground called Hyde Park, and is inclosed by a wall of 10 feet high, that separates it on the north from the hospital ground and the pleasure grounds attached to the government house, and towards the south and west from Hyde Park. On each side of the entrance, that is towards the west, are two small lodges 12 feet square, occupied by a clerk and constable; and in the centre of an area, not sufficiently large for the numerous buildings and offices that range along the interior of the walls, is the principal barrack. It is a handsome brick structure, 130 feet in length and 50 in breadth, and contains three stories, that arc each divided by a lofty passage, separating one range of sleeping rooms from the other. There are four rooms on each floor, and of these six are 35 feet by 19, and the six others are 65 feet by 19. In each room, rows of hammocks are slung to strong wooden rails, supported by upright stauncheons fixed to the floor and roofs. Twenty inches, or two feet in breadth and seven feet in length are allowed for each hammock; and the two rows are separated from each other by a small passage of three feet. Seventy men sleep in each of the long rooms, and thirty-five in the small ones. Access to each floor is afforded by two staircases, placed in the centre of the building; and the ventilation even in the warmest seasons is well maintained. The doors of the sleeping rooms, and those communicating with the court yard, are not locked during the night. One wardsman is appointed to each room, who is responsible for the conduct of the others. Two watchmen and a constable arc charged with the care of the yard gate. Each room of the dormitory contains fireplaces, but they have not hitherto been used, except in the rooms of the ground floor. A lamp is allowed to be burnt in each gallery during the night. Another dormitory is provided in one of the long buildings, on the north side of the yard, So feet in length by 17, in which the convicts lately arrived, and those returned into barrack by order of the magistrates are lodged. They sleep on the mattresses that are brought from the convict ships, and spread them upon raised and sloping platforms of wood similar to those used in military guard rooms. The convicts employed in the kitchens and bakehouse are allowed to hang their hammocks there.

The house of the superintendent of the barrack is on the ground floor, and in the centre of the range of buildings attached to the northern wall. Below his house, and in a line with it, are the baking and store rooms; and at each end of the same wall, there are two apartments measuring 19 feet by 21, and containing live-cells measuring seven feet by four, for the solitary confinement of refractory prisoners. In the range of building attached to the opposite and south wall, are two long mess-rooms, containing tables and forms, at each of which six men may be seated, and between these rooms are the kitchens. In addition to these accommodations three large open and spacious sheds have been erected, on the east and western ends of the wall, where the men assemble before they go to rest, and where they can make fires during the winter.

Since the barrack was first established, the drainage of the yard, and the situation of the privies, that were at first detective, have been improved; and a well has been sunk, and washhouses and a drying shed have been erected in a yard below the area I of the barrack.

The style of architecture, in which the body of this building has been designed, is simple and handsome, and the execution of the work is solid, and promises to be durable. The roof is covered with shingles, which, from want of selection and care in working up, and from the slight inclination given to them, are found to admit the rain during the prevalence of bad weather, and of storms of wind from the south and south-west.

The great defect in the plan of the offices is want of space an height, and their projection in an area where not less than 1,000 men are collected together.

The external walls likewise, which are of stone, and only in I feet high, are executed in a style much too ornamental for the character as well as destination of the principal building; and in their dimensions, the leading object of security has been sacrificed to that of exhibiting with advantage and effect the regular proportion of the building that they inclose.

In other respects the convict barrack, as long as the system of retaining a large body of convicts in the town of Sydney is continued, will be found a useful and healthy place of lodging; and whenever that destination ceases to be given to it, it is very capable of being converted into a military barrack or an hospital.

The carters barrack is situated on the road that leads from Hyde Park, through the brickfields, to the Paramatta road, and forms at present one of the suburbs of the town of Sydney on the south-west. The principal building, which is of brick, and of two stories, fronts the road, and is separated from it by an ornamental railing and wall, only four feet in height from the ground: the windows of all the rooms have the same aspect, and are secured with iron bars on the inside. The principal entrance is from a yard, in which sheds have been constructed for the men to remain in before they go to rest, and two cells for solitary confinement: this yard is separated by a high wall from the stables on one side, and from a yard on the other, in which barracks have lately been erected for the accommodation of the boys.

The ground floor of the principal building contains, on one side of the entrance a large mess-room, at which 162 persons can be seated, in messes of six; and on the other, a room for the separate use of the horsekeepers, who are 18 in number.

Two ranges of bed-places, with mattrasses, are raised on one side of this room; and on the opposite are mess-tables, to which the men are allowed to have access whenever their labour is finished: beyond this apartment is a store-room and wash-house. The upper story contains two sleeping-rooms of equal dimensions; in one of which 8 hammocks are hung, and in the other 70: they are disposed in the same manner as in the convict barrack in Hyde Park; but in one of the rooms, that contained 85 hammocks, 15 were hung upon the upper row. Between these two apartments is one allotted to the overseers, three of whom sleep in it. On the upper side of the second yard are three rooms, which are constructed purposely for the separate accommodation of the convict boys, and in which an attempt has been made to class them; one room is allotted for those who misconduct themselves, and both their diet and their bedding are inferior to that of the first class. The fitting of the rooms is the same in all: mess-tables and forms are placed in front, and near the windows; and along the back wall is a double tier of cribs, with sloping floors. In the two rooms of the first class 6 boys were lodged and fed in messes, composed of eight: they are allowed mattresses and blankets, have tea for breakfast, and, in addition to their pound of bread and meat, are allowed soup for dinner. The boys of the second clan receive a single ration only, consisting of one pound of meat and bread per day, and sleep on boards, with a thin India blanket.

In the same yard is the kitchen, in which the food of all the convicts of the carters barrack is cooked; a house for two overseers; eight solitary cells, for the confinement of the boys, that are badly ventilated; a shed, and fire-place, and privies. At one end of these privies, and aligning with the road, are the stables, that contain eighty-two stalls, an hospital stable, a room for constables and overseers, a saddle and harness room, and a corn room, with a machine for bruising it; to these are attached a yard, with long sheds for the bullocks, a paddock of three acres, and four acres of garden ground; at the opposite end is a yard, containing workshops for carpenters, wheelwrights, harness makers, joiners, blacksmiths and Hailers.

The convict barrack at Paramatta is constructed very nearly upon the same plan and dimensions as that of the carters barrack just described, except that the kitchen is in one of the rooms on the ground floor, and diffuses a great degree of heat and vapour through the body of the building.

The convict barrack at Windsor is nearly on the same plan; but the lodging rooms will have greater elevation than those of the Paramatta and carters barrack, and the kitchen will be detached from the body of the house.

The object proposed in the construction of the carters barrack was, in the first instance, to bring that particular class of convicts nearer to the place of their employment, and the care of their horses and carts and, latterly, to provide a separate place of lodging and messing for the convict boys. The building was expeditiously finished, under the direction of the present chief engineer; and although it is defective in means of ventilation, mid that the want of elevation in the walls of the principal building has rendered the staircase inconvenient, it at present sufficiently answers the purposes for which it was intended. The whole of the establishment is placed under the superintendence of an overseer named William Orrell, an emancipated convict, who resides in a house detached from the building, and in the centre of the garden. The offices, palings and gateway entrances are more ornamental and expensive than the purposes of the establishment required, but the greatest order and cleanliness prevails in every part of it; and from the number of convicts not having yet exceeded the means of superintendence or accommodation, and from the particular attention bestowed upon it by the chief engineer and the superintendent Orrell, the carters barrack may be considered as the best conducted of all the convict establishments in New South Wales.

Independent of the public labour that is carried on at the towns of Sydney, Paramatta, Windsor and Bathurst, there are three agricultural establishments in New South Wales in which the convicts are employed; namely, Grose Farm, Longbottom, and Emu Plains.

The first of these consists of 280 acres of land that were granted by Governor King to trustees for the benefit of the female orphans, and that have been since sun; rendered by them to government, upon an understanding that the trustees were to receive, in exchange, an equal quantity in any other part of the colony that they might select. The land is bounded on the north by the high road to Paramatta, and is situated about two miles from Sydney. The use to which it was first applied was that of affording pasturage for the horses and draught cattle employed in the works at Sydney; latterly, and since the early it of 1819, the land, which is of a very inferior description, has been gradually cleared of trees and stumps, farm-buildings have been erected, and the old dwelling houses enlarged. Sleeping-rooms for 160 men and boys, with airing sheds of brick, have been constructed; and much. pains have been taken to form a series of tanks, by deepening and widening the course of a small rivulet that traverses a portion of the farm, and in making a reservoir of water in the lowest part, where it adjoins the public road. Gardens, for the use of the convicts, have been laid out on the banks, and have been made very productive, in the common kinds of vegetables; the old fence that surrounded the farm has been nearly removed, and, in its place, a very strong and well-made four-railed fence has been nearly completed. Within the last two years attempts have been made to exhibit, in this farm, several of the processes of English husbandry, and no means have been spared, either by the selection of the best labourers, or by the most abundant supply of implements, materials and manure, to insure their success. The farm is placed under the immediate superintendence of a convict named Ebenezer Knox, who acquired his knowledge of agriculture in one of the southern counties of Scotland; but the direction of the operations has been wholly in the hands of Major Druitt, the chief engineer. Time produce of the farm has been chiefly consumed as green food for the draught cattle that are employed at Sydney and although in this respect the film has been of use, and has exhibited as well as taught more approved modes of agriculture than have hitherto been practised by the settlers in New South Vales, more especially that very useful one of eradicating the stumps and roots of trees, by covering them with green sods of earth and setting fire to them, yet the intrinsic value of the operations has been diminished by the injudicious precipitation, with which they have been conducted.

For the purpose of affording a larger range of pasturage, and better food to the draught cattle, a small farm called Canterbury, comprising 50 acres that were cleared some time ago, and in which some white clover had been mixed with the natural grasses of the country, was hired of Mr. Campbell, and the rent, amounting to 50l. per annum; paid from the police fund. At this place 11 convicts were, till lately, lodged and employed in attending the cattle, and in driving them to and from Sydney. Nearly 40 tons of very good hay were nude on the cleared part of the land last year; and, considering the number of cattle and horses employed at Sydney, and the difficulty of feeding them at certain periods of the year, the establishment at Canterbury was useful. The occupation of it, on account of government, was to cease in the month of May 1821.

Besides the agricultural establishment at Grose Farm, there are two others of the same nature that were formed in the course of the year 1819; one at Longbottom, on the Paramatta road, and ten miles from Sydney; the other on a tract of alluvial land, called Emu Plains, situate on the western bank of the river Nepean, and at the base of the first ascent to the Blue Mountains. The former of these comprises nearly 100 acres of land, consisting of a portion that was ungranted, arid another that has been since added by an exchange with the original grantee. It contains some valuable timber, which is cut and sawn upon the spot, and conveyed to Sydney in boats by the Paramatta river, on the southern shore of which part of the farm of Longbottom is situated. Charcoal for the forges and foundries is likewise prepared here; and as the land is gradually cleared of wood, the cultivation is extended under the direction of an overseer, who was a convict, and has received his emancipation. The number of men employed at Longbottom, amounted, in January 1821, to 110. This establishment is under the inspection of Major Druitt, the chief engineer, who occasionally visits it. The buildings consist of a house for the overseer, a barrack for the men, an open shed and a fireplace, a mess-room, and stabling for five horses. They are all constructed of wood, and covered with shingles. With the exception of an ornamental lodge and gateway that has been built at the entrance from the road, the buildings at this establishment have been erected with a due regard to economy, and the comfortable lodging of the convicts.

The establishment at Emu Plains is under the management of Mr. Richard Fitzgerald, and was undertaken for the purpose of giving employment to the numerous convicts that arrived in the year 1819, and that were not taken up by the settlers. Their numbers have gradually increased from 120 to 269, and they are employed in building their own huts, or those required by the establishment; in cutting or bunting off timber, clearing the land, and in cultivating it with wheat and maize. The river Nepean, which is in some places very deep, divides the tract called Emu Plains from the estate of Sir John Jamieson, and from other cultivated lands on the opposite bank of the river; but the road to Bathurst from Emu Ford and the Ferry, traverses the plains in an oblique and inconvenient direction. The buildings at Emu Plains consist of a small house for Mr. Fitzgerald and the overseer, a store for the provisions, a quarter for the commissariat clerk, and a barrack for the detachment of soldiers. The convicts are lodged in cottages built of wood, or the bark of the eucalyptus, mid one cottage of larger dimensions than the rest is set apart for the sick. The numbers in each cottage vary from. two to eight or ten, and every convict is allowed to have a separate cottage and garden attached to it, if he chooses to erect one. They sleep on wooden trellisses, raised nearly two feet from the ground, and generally spread the mattrasses that they bring with them from the convict ships on large pieces of bark of the eucalyptus, which are very easily and quickly detached from the tree.

Some of the cottages are substantially built, but they have been allowed to be placed much too near each other.

From the superior quality of the land, the produce both of maize and wheat, in the year 1820, was very abundant at Emu Plains. The situation is healthy; and being separated, though not effectually, by the course of the river Nepean, from the neighbouring settlements, the convicts have fewer opportunities of obtaining spirituous liquors, or communicating with other convicts in their hours of leisure.

At Pennant Hills, on the northern shore of the Paramatta river, and distant about seven miles from the town of Paramatta, an establishment has been made for the purpose of supplying the different works at Sydney with sawn timber and shingles for roofing. The land from which the wood is cut belongs to Mr. John and Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, who have not objected to the temporary occupation of it, or to the appropriation of the timber.

Seventy-three men are employed at this station; and they are chiefly sawyers, shingle-splitters, and basket-makers. They work under cover, and are lodged in cottages or barracks of different dimensions, which are simply but substantially constructed of wood; but the floors ought to have been elevated above the surface of the ground, instead of being depressed somewhat below it. Some of the cottages are boarded, but all are substantial, and provided with chimneys, built either of largo logs and rough stone, with an iron bar and hooks laid across for culinary purposes.

An overseer, by the name of Kelly, who is now free by expiration of his term of service, superintends the establishment; and the wood and shingles are conveyed in bullock carts, from the station to the shore of the Paramatta river, a distance of five miles, and from thence by water to Sydney. A very decent chapel, capable of containing 150 persons, has likewise been erected at Pennant Hills, by the overseer Kelly, and a labouring carpenter, during their leisure hours. Divine service is performed in it by a convict named Home, who was first employed at Paramatta as a schoolmaster.

The erection of this chapel cost government nothing more Than the cutting of the timber and the nails; and it was finished in the space of six weeks. There is also, at Pennant Hills, a place of temporary confinement for refractory convicts, constructed of the same materials as the other buildings.

At Iron Cove, on the southern shore of the Paramatta river, and about three miles from Sydney, there is an establishment of 27 convicts for gathering shells for lime.

They are tasked to procure a certain quantity every week, and the shells are sent down by water in the government boats to Sydney. The convicts at this establishment are lodged in wood huts on the bank of the river, under the superintendence of an overseer.

Since the improvement of the roads and bridges was undertaken by Major Druitt, the chief engineer, in the year 1819, several gangs of convicts, amounting in the month of November 1819 to 362, under the superintendence of overseers, have been employed in this service. The gangs vary from 30 to 60 each; and as their work proceeds, they remove their huts, which are always constructed of the branches and bark of the eucalyptus, from one station to another. This operation is attended with very little difficulty and no expense. The circumstances that rendered this labour necessary so soon after the formation of the roads and bridges, will be mentioned hereafter; at present, it consists sometimes in giving a new direction to the whole line of roads, clearing away the stumps that had been left by the former contractors, seeking for and conveying materials front the adjoining land, and cutting and carrying heavy timber and logs for the bridges and swampy places.

The convicts in the employ of government at Paramatta, are now either lodged in the new convict barrack, or in houses of their own in the town. The former building is capable of containing 130 men when the hammocks are slung in single tiers only, and is built after the plan of the carters barrack at Sydney, except that it is inclosed by a high wall towards the street, that also surrounds a yard for the employment of the mechanics, immediately behind.

The number of convicts employed at Paramatta amounted in the month of September 1820 to 225, and of these 130 were generally lodged in the barrack; the rest were permitted to live in the town, excepting a party consisting of 22, that were hutted in some buildings of the government domain, where they were employed in taking up roots of trees and clearing the timber; and a party of eight, that were hutted and employed in a similar manner, in the lands adjoining the female orphan school.

At the towns of Windsor and Liverpool a certain number of convicts have been employed in the construction of the government works that have been conducted there; and those at Windsor in the month of December 1820, amounted to 92, and at Liverpool to 42. The former are under the direction of Mr. Richard Fitzgerald, and are hutted in small buildings near the church, (in the construction of which they are employed), and in two very indifferent cottages at the entrance of the town of Windsor, one of which belongs to Mr. Fitzgerald, and for which he has received rent from the police fund; the other belongs to government, and will cease to be occupied when the convict barrack at Windsor is completed.

The convicts at Liverpool are placed under the gratuitous management of Mr. Moore of that place, and are hutted in small tenements near the town. Those at Bathurst are lodged in cottages built of turf and brick, and are under the direction of a superintendent, who acts under the orders of the military commandant lieutenant Lawson. In the month of November 1820, the number of convicts at Bathurst amounted to fifty.

It has already been remarked, that at Hobart Town, in Van Diemen's Land, the convicts in the employ of government are, with the exception of a small and incommodious house, containing two rooms, and in which the worst characters are allowed to obtain their lodgings in the town where they can, paying for them by their earnings, or by domestic services performed; their number amounted in March 1820, to 470. Those at George Town are lodged in small cottages, built by themselves; but as they have consisted latterly of the worst description of convicts, with the exception of the mechanics originally sent to forward the works in 1816, the cottages are few in number, and badly constructed.

I shall now proceed to describe the nature and effect of the different kinds of convict labour performed at Sydney, and in the other parts of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land; with a detail of the superintendence, value, and expense attending it.

The able bodied men, who are lodged in the convict barrack and carters barrack it at Sydney, are divided into gangs, and are employed in the lumber yard there, or in quarries, and in different works that are going on in and near the town. They are mustered by the overseers in the barracks at half past four in summer, and at daylight in winter, and are marched to their place of employment. William Hutchinson, the principal superintendent, attends at the first muster of the gangs in the convict barrack, and gives orders for any alterations in the number or disposition of them that he may have concerted previously with Major Druitt, the chief engineer. The sick and lame are sent to the hospital to be examined, and if the cases are only suspicious, the convicts are confined in a wooden building, within the walls of the hospital, till the middle of the day, and if they require inspection and medicine, without confinement, they are sent to rejoin their gangs; a list of the convicts exempted from labour being sent daily, at eight o'clock, by the assistant-surgeon on duty, to the principal superintendent's office in the lumber yard.

The convict boys are now marched from the carters barrack to the several places of employment, in the lumber yard and dock yard, and except in the hours of labour, are separated from the men. The convicts that are aged and infirm, are employed in light work about the barrack, or in the government grounds and garden. At nine o'clock in summer, the whole are marched back to their barracks tor breakfast, for which they are allowed one hour, and the same time at dinner; and in the evening they return to the barrack at sunset, when they are again mustered by their overseers. During the winter the convicts are made to breakfast before they proceed to their work in the morning.

The document A. No. 63, contains a nominal list of the convicts employed in, and near Sydney, and receiving rations from thence, and a description of their a trades, and the gangs to which they have been distributed. The principal place of convict labour in Sydney, is the lumber yard, a large space of ground now walled-in, and extending from George-street to the edge of a small stream that discharges itself into Sydney Cove. The trades carried on in this place, are those of blacksmiths, locksmiths, nailers, iron and brass founders, bellows makers, coopers, sawyers, painters, lead casters, harness and collar makers, tailors and shoemakers, carpenters, joiners, and cabinet makers. All the different sheds in which the workmen are employed, front towards the yard that they enclose, and in the centre, is deposited the wood that is brought from Pennant Hills and Newcastle, separated according to its size and dimensions. An overseer superintends each class of labourers, and when they are employed out of the lumber yard, and in large gangs, additional overseers are appointed to assist them in that duty.

The dock yard likewise furnishes employment to a considerable number of workmen, dither in the construction of the quays, or in the building and naval equipment of boats and small vessels. The gaol gang are generally employed at this place, in unloading the cargoes of the colonial vessels, and in delivering them on the quays of the dock yard, and they are made to work in chains. Considerable additions have lately been made in the dock yard, by the erection of two blacksmiths and nailers forges, a sail room and boat house underneath, two saw pits, and a high stone wall that now entirely separates the yard from the street, and from the commissariat stores.

The stone-cutters gangs are very numerous, and are distributed in five or six different places in and about Sydney, for the purpose of raising and quarrying stone as near as it call be procured to the buildings. There is one principal overseer of these gangs, and others are allowed for more immediate and constant superintendence. The carriage of materials from the dock yards and quarries to the different buildings, occasions the employment of not less than 69 men, including attendants and horse-keepers; and three mounted overseers are constantly employed in carrying directions to the cart-men for that purpose; latterly, the carts employed in Sydney, amounting to 29, have returned to the carters barrack at four or five o clock in the evening, and the drivers are afterwards made to work in the garden adjoining the barrack. Within the last year, several gangs of convicts have been employed in levelling the streets of Sydney and Paramatta, and in making brick drains at the intersections of the streets.

Twelve boats, navigated and worked by 52 men, are in constant employment on the Paramatta river and the adjoining inlets, in procuring and conveying lime and wood from Pennant Hills to Sydney, or stores to Paramatta.

Eight boats carrying six coxswains and 38 men, are daily employed in cutting grass for the government horses and draught cattle, and for the use of the governor's horses during his residence at Sydney. They are under the direction of Barnard Williams, coxswain of the governor's barge, who lives in a house that belongs to government on the shore of Sydney Cove, and adjoining the dock yard. The grass-cutters and boats crews are mustered by him on their return from their work, and from the nature of it are obliged to leave Sydney at irregular hours, varied and governed by the state of the tides and wind. Those of the grass-cutters that are well conducted, are allowed to lodge in the town, and after they have procured the quantity that is given as a task to each man, they are allowed to dispose of the surplus for themselves; those likewise who have been able to furnish on the Fridays the quantity required for that day and the Saturday, are allowed the use of the government boats to procure it for themselves on the Saturday, and to sell it, in the town. The daily task to the grass-cutters has been raised lately from 40 to 60 bundles of grass for each man, and it is procured on the banks of the Paramatta river, or the tracts of unoccupied land adjoining. Out of the number of grass cutters above-mentioned, there are six that are allowed to procure grass for such of the officers of the regiment in garrison as keep horses. They are borne on the regimental books as civil servants, and receive rations as such. With two exceptions, the men who are selected for this service, on account of their good behaviour, do not live in the barracks, they are merely employed for supplying grass for the horses of the officer to whom they are assigned, and after delivering it they are entirely at their own disposal for the remainder of the day. In addition to the number of boats crews already mentioned, four men are allowed for the use of the chief engineer's boat in Sydney Cove, six for the use of the naval office, eight for the row-guard, and three small boats are in constant employment about the dock yard and harbour, making a total of 120 men.

The nature of the work allotted to the government convicts at the towns of Paramatta, Liverpool, and Windsor, differs very little from that which exists at Sydney, and this observation equally applies to the labour of the convicts in the service of government at Hobart Town, and George Town, in Van Dieman's Land.

The chief engineer at Sydney has the direction of all the public works carried on, in the settlements of New South Wales, and receives the orders of the governor to commence and execute them. The office of chief engineer has existed for a considerable period, but it was not till the time of Captain Gill, an officer of the 46th regiment, that the importance of the situation began to be perceived, by the enlarged extent of duties that he was called upon to perform. None of the persons who filled this office having possessed any knowledge of architecture or mechanics, their duties, in the first instance, were limited to the collection and preparation of materials, the distribution of stores and tools, and the care of all the government property employed in the public works. The buildings in Sydney that were erected by government previous to the time of Captain Gill, were, with the exception of the official residence of the governor's secretary, of very simple construction; and it was not until the arrival of Mr. Francis Greenway, that any successful attempt was made to extend their scale and character. Since his appointment to the situation of colonial architect, in the year 1815, designs have been furnished by him for several; of the public buildings, and he has superintended their progress, signifying to the chief engineer, from time to time, the materials that were required. Governor Macquarrie has however availed himself of the voluntary assistance of Lieutenant Watts of the 46th regiment, his aide-de-camp, who furnished designs for the new military barracks, and the hospital at Paramatta; two steeples to the church at Paramatta, and for the military hospital at Sydney. He also undertook the superintendence of the first repairs of the road to Paramatta, and the bridges upon it, and the construction of a large dam in the Paramatta river, for the purpose of preserving a supply of fresh water for the use of the inhabitants, and preventing any admixture of salt water from the rising of the tide.

In the course of the years 1819 and 1820, the carters barrack at Sydney, the convict barrack at Paramatta, the asylum at Sydney, and a considerable extent of plain walling have been constructed under the direction of Major Druitt, the present chief engineer, from plans or working drawings, furnished by the overseers of bricklayers. The operations of the dock yard have likewise at all times been placed under the direction of the same officer, and continued to be so till the end of the year 1820, when, in consequence of observing their daily increase and importance, and that they required a greater portion of nautical skill than an officer of the land service could possibly possess, I recommended to Governor Macquarrie to appoint Mr. John Nicholson, a master of the navy on half-pay, to the office of master attendant of the dock yard at Sydney, with all the powers that were possessed by Major Druitt, the chief engineer in that department, and including the police of the harbour. To this recommendation the governor immediately acceded, and was farther Pleased to annex to the appointment a salary of 100l. per annum, payable from the police fund, as well as the situation of harbour master.

The variety of work carried on at Sydney is described by Major Druitt in his evidence, and it appears that task work is allotted to every convict, where such an arrangement is practicable. Since the appointment of that officer in the year 1819, the quantity of task work has been increased to the nail-makers, brick-makers, stone-cutters and sawyers, and it has been an object with him to raise it, as nearly as he could, to the extent that an able bodied man can perform in a day, and within the hour appointed for the cessation of government work, and this plan has, in some species of labour, been found to be practicable; but it is adopted more for the purpose of securing and ascertaining that a certain quantity of labour is performed, than, of stimulating the quicker performance of it by the hope of reward; for although the task may be performed before the appointed hour, the workman is not allowed to retire, either to the barrack or to his own home, but remains in the lumber yard till the expiration of the hours of work, and if the allotted task be not accomplished in that time, the chief engineer has the power of ordering the defaulter to work on it Saturdays after ten o'clock. The same system was enforced at Pennant Hills amongst the sawyers, in the year 1819, when the working ration of the convicts in the service of the government was raised, at Sydney, from one pound to a pound and a half of meat and flour per day; and the resistance of the sawyers to this augmentation of their labour, as described Druitt, by Major Druitt, was such as to require from him very prompt and vigorous measures for its suppression. The alledged motive of their resistance was the insufficiency of the augmented ration, although they now continue to perform the augmented task of cutting 700 feet of wood per week, and are able to finish it, if they work well, on the fourth day. They are then permitted to work on their own account for the settlers in the neighbourhood. In the labour of road making, the appointment of task work is rarely practicable, on account of the variations of the nature of the soil and surface, and in the quantity of timber that covers the greatest part of the tract denominated the county of Cumberland. An attempt has been made by Ford, one of the best and most experienced of the overseers employed in road making, to fix the extent of road that thirty men, with six carts, should accomplish in two months, on the first line of road between Paramatta and Windsor; but this estimate cannot, for obvious reasons, be applied to other lines or portions even of the same road. Under these circumstances, it is found more expedient to fix a daily quantity of labour proportionate to the difficulties and obstructions that occur, and to punish the non-performance of such a task, than to trust to the vigilance of overseers in keeping the men to the performance of an undeterminate quantity on a long line of road, and to various operations in it. At Emu Plains, each labourer is required to fell the timber on an acre of land in the course of a week; and in burning it off; he is required to perform ten rods per day. Governor Macquarrie has however entertained a general objection to the employment of convicts in task work, preferring that they should be made to work the whole of the day, and allowing a sufficient time for their meals, and the whole of Saturday for the cultivation of their garden grounds. Under the superintendence of the works at Sydney by Captain Gill, the principal part was done by task work, as is the case at present at Hobart Town, in Van Dieman's Land. Both at that station and at Sydney, however, the evils of such a system have been very apparent, and it was not till the establishment of the convict barrack at the latter town, in the month of June 1819, that they admitted of a remedy. As, previous to that period, neither washing nor lodging were provided for the convicts, they were allowed to work from three o'clock every day on their own account. There was thus neither restraint nor control over them, and although the government task was quickened, yet the profits that the convicts made by their own labour, were too frequently spent in dissipation and profligacy. The confinement of a large portion of the government labourers in the convict barrack has afforded a partial remedy to these evils; but there are still a great many of the government convicts that are allowed to live out of barracks, to whom nearly the whole of Saturday is allowed for labour on their own account. This indulgence is professed to be extended to men of good character only, and who have families to support; it is however extended to a great many mechanics who have no families, and to some who are living with women, and have children by them; and it is an indulgence which, when forfeited, as it frequently and necessarily is, by the misconduct of the men, and punished by their confinement in the convict barrack, or by the appropriation of their labour on the Saturdays to the government, deprives the women of support, and drives them to the necessity of making some new connexion for their subsistence. Major Druitt is also of opinion, that it would be very desirable, if possible, to accommodate all the government convicts in the barrack, both on account of their more regular subsistence, and their moral conduct.

On the first change of the system of lodging the convicts at Sydney in a barrack, Governor Macquarrie, by the 13th article of the regulations that he drew up for that establishment, allowed the prisoners who were lodged in it the privilege of working on Saturdays for their own benefit; a short experience of this indulgence has proved its inexpediency. Mr. Wentworth, indeed, the police magistrate, had foreseen its bad consequence, and advised against it, but the difficulty of releasing one portion of convicts from labour to which the others were confined, the necessary employment of the overseers on the Saturday mornings, in drawing rations for the men who are out of barracks, and a wish to mitigate, in the first instance, the hardships of a restraint that was altogether new in the colony, induced Governor Macquarrie to afford the indulgence of Saturdays to the government convicts, in the hope that their labour might be useful to the inhabitants of Sydney, and that the convicts might equally derive benefit from it in the purchase of tobacco and comforts not allowed them by government. This indulgence, however, as well as the hours allowed on Sunday, which are from one o'clock till sunset, are found to be productive of great injury to the convicts, as well as to the police of Sydney, for upon being let out of the barracks they resort to a particular part of the town called the Rocks, a place distinguished, as Major Druitt observes, for the practice of every debauchery and villainy, or loiter about the streets to the great annoyance of the inhabitants, and pass their time in gambling and riot; the indulgence, therefore, has lately been limited to those convicts only who were known to apply it to a good purpose, and any of them found loitering in the streets, have been immediately sent to work in the lumber yard.

The effect of this change of system, moreover, upon the quantity of labour performed for government, soon became a subject of observation, and a considerable difference of opinion arose respecting it between the chief engineer and the colonial architect, Mr. Greenway. Upon the increase of the government ration, and the appropriation of the whole of every day, except Saturday, to government work, it became the object of the former to secure for government the performance of as much labour of every kind from the convicts as the system of superintendence and coercion, now prevailing in the colony, would admit. He has greatly enlarged its variety; and in the coarser branches of laborious employment, he has succeeded in increasing the quantities performed. With better superintendence, and a more methodical and regular calculation of the labour performed, Major Druitt would have been able to have distinguished the merit of individual labourers, and to have, produced that spirit of emulation amongst them by rewards, which, as long as the restrictive system prevails, is the only motive to personal exertion. The great variety of works carried on at the same time, their dispersion, and the predilection of the chief engineer for the agricultural experiments at Grose Farm, have all contributed to embarrass and distract his attention from any effectual attempt to combine moral improvement with the labour performed for government, if indeed the local impediments presented to such an object by the town of Sydney did not render the attempt nearly hopeless.

The labour, it has been observed, required by the chief engineer from the government convicts, is in its nature purely coercive; they derive no advantage from it, and have no interest in improving or augmenting it: they have not even the ordinary incentive held out to other convicts, from the hope, or rather the expectation, of a remission of their punishment at the periods at which they are granted to others; and they are well aware, that any skill that they may acquire or display in the service of government, will be the cause of their further detention in it. From the nature of the superintendence under which it is carried on, and the difficulty of procuring better, no accurate information is afforded of the progress that is made. A weekly report of the work performed by each gang of labourers is made by the overseers to the superintendent of convicts, William Hutchinson, and transmitted by the chief engineer to the governor: this document describes the nature of the works in which the convicts have been employed, during a given period; but exhibits no statement of quantities, except in the articles of timber and nails. A report of the quantities of mason and brick work, and carpenters work, and of the number of men employed in each, was for some time made by the several overseers of those works, to Mr. Greenway; and it was his duty to measure it, and to observe whether it was properly executed, reporting his observations to the chief engineer, who, after submitting them to the governor, proceeded to punish the men or the overseers, if the work was declared to be insufficient. From the ornamental nature, and difficulty of the operations that followed the introduction of a better style of architecture, and a more solid mode of construction, into the public works in New South Wales, after the appointment of Mr. Greenway to the office of colonial architect, it frequently occurred that he had to report unfavourably of the work that was done, that it was to be altered and reset, and that it became necessary to employ upon it the best description of workmen. The chief engineer, who with the superintendent of convicts had the distribution of the gangs, did not always enter into the architectural views of Mr. Greenway; and, from various pretexts, the men whom he had pointed out as the best mechanics, and fixed at particular descriptions of work, were removed, without his knowledge, to other places. He likewise found, that the working plans that he had given in for some of the earliest buildings had been purloined by the overseers; that they were employed to erect buildings by contract for government, the design and character of which were plainly derived from his, though neither possessing their proportion, solidity, nor convenience. Mortified by an interference in his own pursuits, by persons to whom he had himself taught the first rudiments of their art, and finding that he was not allowed to exercise any control over the labourers or the works, Mr. Greenway seems to have paid less attention than he ought to one important part of his duty, the admeasurement of the work, and the superintendence of its execution. Observing also the use and application that was made of his working plans, he ceased altogether to furnish any; and thence arose fresh mistakes of the overseers in the dimensions of the buildings, and complaints on their part of his repeated absence or insufficient direction. Governor Macquarrie having at length observed the slow progress of the new stables at Sydney, and being anxious to discover the cause, took an opportunity of inquiring into it, in the presence of Major Druitt and Mr. Greenway. The latter insisted that it was owing to the defects of the system of government labour that he had pointed out to Major Druitt, in his letters, dated 10th March and 14th August 1819; and offered to prove to the governor, that if he would allow him to select ten of the best stone-masons, and to employ them exclusively in the cutting and finishing of the stone work of one of the towers of the stables, and in fixing the embrasures, which, according to the system then pursuing, had cost the labour of thirty men for six weeks, he would venture to accomplish it in one, by simply offering to the ten workmen as much time for their own profit as they found that they could make out of that week. The offer was accepted; and such was the alacrity with which the men worked, that in three days and a half the government task was finished, and they had the rest of the week to work for themselves. It is necessary to add, that the party of men that had been previously employed in the same work, were not experienced workmen, and had been frequently removed from it to others; and it is equally necessary to state, that three of the ten workmen that had performed their task with such expedition were brought before the magistrates, before the expiration of the week, for drunkenness and misconduct.

In consequence of this experiment, a certain quantity of task work, described by Mr. Greenway in his evidence; is now allotted to the best description of masons, and if they perform the work well, they are allowed some portion of the week or the day to work on their own account. The objections generally entertained by Governor Macquarrie, and by Major Druitt, to the system of task work, arose from the generally imperfect performance of it, and the preference naturally given by the convict to the work from which he derives profit, and especially that species of profit that was in his own control, and that would minister to his vices and licentious habits. Major Druitt was equally sensible of the little dependence that was to be placed upon the integrity of the overseers, in the calculation or admeasurement of the government task, or in exacting the whole and perfect execution of it from the convicts. From the variety and extent of the operations that were going on, no effectual performance of this duty was practicable by himself, and as the overseers themselves were allowed to conduct works in the town, both for individuals and for government, in what was called their own time, their interest was to en. large it by abridging that of government, and by hurrying the government work, to employ the convicts in labour of their own. Their interest was thus strongly placed in opposition to their duty. Mr. Greenway was himself actuated by considerations of the same kind. He had been employed by several individuals in Sydney and in the colony, and from the absolute monopoly of the skilful mechanics by government, it was impossible, except on Saturdays, to obtain their labour. Any system, therefore, that was likely to place the labour of these convicts at the disposal of individuals during the week, was much more likely to be satisfactory to Mr. Greenway, who was employed by them; and at last, the question was nearly reduced to this, whether government was likely to be better served by retaining the whole of the labour of the convicts, that they fed and maintained at an increased ration, though the labour was conducted at a slower rate, in consequence of the taking away all sources of profit to them, and all stimulus to its increase; or by allowing them to divide their time for government and for individuals, when maintained at a lower ration, to do as little as they could for the former, and as much as possible for themselves. Governor Macquarrie has adopted the former system ever since the establishment of the convict barrack in the month of June 1819, and if the superintendence of the government labour had been as effectual as it was always his wish to have made it, the confinement of the mechanics in the barrack, and the exaction of the whole of their labour on every day of the week, would have operated as a punishment, in as far as it deprived them of opportunities of working for themselves, or from having free access to the luxurious dissipation of the town of Sydney. Conducted, however, as it is, from want of means of making it more rigorous, it is a species of labour less fatiguing and less irksome than the labour of convicts in the service of settlers, and therefore it operates with them as a temptation to quit that service and to repair to Sydney.

It has already been remarked, that it carried with it no incitement either from advantages present or prospective; on the other hand, the punishments for neglect or idleness are equally defective. Major Druitt has indeed stated, that some particular kinds of labour carried on at Sydney are more severe than others, and that he reserves these for the punishment of the mutinous and refractory; but it is also to be observed, that they are the employments of the well conducted men also; and that men of this description are removed to them from other gangs whenever the wants of government require it. All punishments, moreover for idleness or insolence to the overseers are necessarily placed in their hands. It is upon their report only, upon their vigilance, their integrity, and their discrimination, that effectual punishment of idleness can alone be administered. It is equally in their power to harrass the convicts by too much labour, as to indulge them with a temporary absence from it, during the whole or a portion of the day. The check upon the conduct of the overseers in this last respect, afforded by the occasional visits of Major Druitt, and the superintendent William Hutchinson, (the only checks that they admit to exist) are by no means so effectual as they imagine. The movements of the former, and his occupations, were pretty generally known by the different gangs in and about Sydney, and their mode of anticipating his visits, or those of any person in authority, is acknowledged by him to prevail equally amongst the convicts and the overseers. To the force of this acknowledgment I can add my own testimony during a period of six months residence in the town of Sydney, to the inactivity of the gangs of workmen, whenever they thought that they were unobserved, and the little dependence that is to be placed in the overseers for correcting it.

To counterbalance these great disadvantages, the labour in the government works at Sydney since the arrival of Mr. Greenway in the colony, has undoubtedly tended to improve the practice of several descriptions of workmen, who before that period were devoid either of skill or instruction. In the art of stone-cutting, brick-making, and brick-laying, there has been an evident and striking improvement; and in almost every branch of mechanical industry, attempts have been made to improve those convicts who showed any disposition for it, as well as to instruct several of the convict boys.

These observations apply to the system of government labour at Sydney, considered merely as affording employment for a large body of men; it will now he viewed in its character of discipline, and as conducive to their moral conduct, reform and security.

Discipline of the Convicts in the service of the Government.]

It will have been observed, that the separation of the convicts, whose offences or characters had been distinguished in England for criminality, from those who brought official recommendations of their conduct with them, formed no part of the system upon which the distribution of the convicts proceeded in the first instance. No approximation towards it has been introduced or attempted in the subsequent stages of their punishment, except amongst the boys, who have been classed, fed and lodged according to their conduct in the colony since their removal from the convict barrack to the carters barrack, in the month of May 1820.

The association of so many depraved and desperate characters in one place is an evil that is complained of even by the convicts themselves; and although it might not have been entirely, yet it might have been partially remedied on the opening of the convict barrack, by placing the best conducted men in one or more of the twelve sleeping rooms into which it is distributed. Robberies amongst the convicts in tho barracks of their clothes and bedding, and concealment of it, are very frequent; and they are encouraged in these practices by the facility with which they cast them over the barrack wall to persons who are ready to receive them on the other side. To remedy these evils, several expedients have been resorted to by the chief engineer, such as searches of their persons at the gate, and the painting of large letters and broad arrows on different its of the dress; and these precautions have in some measure diminished the great losses sustained in the clothing. It was likewise the intention of Governor Macquarrie to have surmounted the barrack wall with an iron paling, but the erection of it was deferred on account of the high price of that commodity, and the delay of its arrival from England.

It is somewhat extraordinary that instances of violence, or of attempts to force the gate of the barrack, should not have occurred more frequently, considering the temptations that exist in the town of Sydney, and the general disposition to indulge in them that is shown by the convicts whenever they have opportunities. Absence from it on the nights of Saturday and Sunday are frequent, and are punished by confinement to the barrack on those days for certain periods. With these absences are likewise combined offences committed in the town of Sydney, of which a greater number is always brought before the police on Mondays than on any other days in the week.

Major Druitt does not conceive that any danger to the colony has arisen, or is likely to arise, from the confinement of so many criminals in the same place. Conspiracies to cut out vessels from the harbour, or to effect escape, are frequently made there; but the accumulation of numbers seems rather to have afforded means of timely detection, than of the perpetration of outrage; and the chief engineer, and the superintendent, have always depended upon the treachery of accomplices for information respecting it, and have not been deceived in that expectation. The security, indeed, arising from the treachery of the convicts towards each other, is common to all establishments in which they are collected together. It is not, however, against the perpetration of offences committed in the barrack alone that precaution is necessary; for on marching them to and from thence, either to work or to church, it is found very difficult to prevent them, especially the boys, from entering houses as they go along, and from snatching at property and secreting it. The houses of a number of seafaring men in the navigation of the boats has also led to the engagement of themselves and others in enterprizes of escape; and latterly, in some very desperate attempts to surprize and cut out boats and vessels in the harbour both of Port Jackson and Hobart Town.

From the great extent of the shores of the river Derwent, and from the access and facilities that it affords both for the refreshment of vessels and their employment in the whale fishery, the temptation to these enterprizes have been more frequent there, and latterly, more successful; and it has already been observed, that in consequence of there being no barrack at Hobart Town, the confinement of convicts, their control, after the hours of government work, is more difficult than it is at present at Sydney. The maritime positions indeed, of Sydney, unfit places for the residence of convicts, as they multiply their temptations to escape, and increase their punishments. They likewise raise discontent in the minds of the industrious and well disposed convicts by the revival of feelings, which the remote tiers of their position would have a tendency gradually to suppress, and they suggest to the desperate and the discontented perpetual schemes of piratical plunder or of hazardous concealment. In the last attempt to escape that occurred at Sydney, a great many government mechanics were implicated, in consequence, no doubt, of the solicitations that were used by the captain of the American vessel (the General Gates) and of the opportunities that he had enjoyed at Sydney not only of concerting and effecting their escape, but of ascertaining, and indeed of witnessing in the convict barrack the extent of their mechanical skill before he ventured to engage them. No account or memoranda even of these attempts, or the names of the convicts engaged in them, having been kept by the principal superintendent at Sydney since his appointment, it was not possible to ascertain whether any and what particular description of them was more prone to make their escape than another, but of those that took place during my stay at Sydney and Hobart Town, a very large proportion were made by convicts in the employ of government.

The defence made by these convicts when apprehended, very naturally refers to the greater extent of compulsory service that they are made to endure in the service of government, than is allotted to any other description of convicts; not on account of their crimes, but on account of their mechanical skill, or the value of their services. This distinction, so prejudicial to the real objects of discipline, has received some limitation in the 17th article of the regulations, made by Governor Macquarrie in the month of June 1819, in which it was declared, that on the expiration of four years passed in the service of government, convicts who should have conducted themselves honestly, soberly, and diligently during that time, should be entitled to receive and should actually receive tickets of leave.

The convicts in the service of government are thus placed in a worse situation than those in the service of a settler, to whom a term of three years service is assigned by Governor Macquarrie's regulations of the 9th January 1813.

It is satisfactory, however, to observe, that the principle of limitation had been avowed and carried partially into effect; for on referring to the documents, it will be found that out of 517 convict mechanics retained in the service of government in January 1821, there were not more than 122 whose terms of service had exceeded three years, and not more than 79 whose terms had exceeded four years. It is, however, further to be observed, that the principle by which the government convicts are retained in its service, prior to their obtaining tickets of leave, is made to apply to them after having received that indulgence; and instances have occurred in which a particular class of tradesmen or mechanics whose services were required by government, have been recalled to its service when in possession of a ticket of leave.

These cases have not been numerous of late, but their occurrence tends to depreciate the value of the ticket of leave as a reward for good conduct, and places the convict who holds it too much at the mercy of a superintendent, who, under the pretence of requiring his services for the government works, has it in his power, by a temporary privation of the ticket of leave, to inflict a severe punishment.

The punishments inflicted upon the convicts employed by government, consist of confining those who lodge there to the convict barrack on Saturdays and Sundays, or obliging them to work on the former day; of work in the gaol gang, of confinement in solitary cells, flogging, and transportation to the Coal River. The chief engineer and the superintendent possess the power of confining convicts to the barrack, imposing additional or heavier labour upon them; and although the punishment of the ordinary offences is committed to the magistrate of police, or a bench of magistrates, yet it appears that in cases that seemed to him to require very prompt interference, Governor Macquarrie has proceeded to order and to authorize punishments by his warrant, and upon the verbal report alone of the chief engineer; such was the case iii the mutiny of the sawyers at Pennant Hills, who were punished with one hundred lashes each; and on the discovery of a conspiracy amongst a great many of the prisoners in the convict barrack, to escape by the surprize of some vessels in the harbour. In all other cases the offences of the government convicts are brought before the magistrate of police, who sits daily in one of the lower rooms of the convict barrack. The examinations upon these occasions proceed upon sworn testimony, and entries of the examinations are made in the police book: serious offences committed by the government convicts are reserved for the consideration of a bench of magistrates, who meet once a week, or as occasion may require.

By reference to the returns of the offence's and punishments that have been brought before the magistrates, it will be found that a very considerable majority are committed by convicts in the service of government. In the year commencing June 1819, and ending June 1820, 139 men were punished for absence from barrack, 35 for stealing clothes and other articles out of it, and eight for escaping over the wall. These punishments are exclusive of those inflicted by the chief engineer and superintendent, in the shape of confinement and extra labour, and which are very numerous; indeed, so great was their increase in consequence of the indulgence of Saturday and Sunday, that it has been usual latterly to confine the worst characters to the barrack on those days.

The punishment ordered in such cases by the governor's regulations, for working the absentee convicts in the garden, had not been in operation, as the wall that was to inclose it was not begun till line 1820, and was not quite completed in the month of February 1821.

The ground, consisting of four acres, on the east side of Hyde Park, had been cleared and stumped, and a gardener's lodge, containing two rooms, had been built in the centre.

The soil, however, of this garden is of the worst description; and being almost entirely on the declivity of a bill, it will require a great deal of manure and labour to make it productive; but it possesses the advantage of being near the convict barrack.

The corporal punishments of the government convicts were formerly inflicted at the lumber yard, they are now inflicted at the convict barrack, in the presence generally of the chief engineer and the principal superintendent, and an assistant surgeon, with more severity than at the period when the government works were less extensively conducted, and the convicts less numerous. The instruments of punishment are not so heavy as those that are made use of in the army and navy; and as the convicts found means, either by bribes or threats to the flogger, to diminish their severity, a convict has been specially appointed to the service, who lives constantly in the barrack, and in a room adjoining the deputy superintendent's house. The effect of these different kinds of punishments is stated by the chief engineer to vary with the feelings and bodily habits and strength of the convicts; and the punishment of the chain gang is rightly described by him to be the least efficient, and most prejudicial. The confinement of offenders to severe kinds of labour would be effectual, but it could only be rendered so by the superintendence of trustworthy overseers (whom it is most difficult to find) as well as by a temporary sacrifice of mere labour to the purposes of correction and punishment, objects as has been observed before, that do not prevail in the system upon which the government works at Sydney have been conducted.

The attendance of the convicts at places of worship has been enforced to as great an extent as the accommodation in them would allow.

At Sydney the convicts living out of barrack are mustered by the chief engineer and principal superintendent on Sunday mornings at the door of the church, and occupy the whole length of the side gallery, which contains nearly 500. At eight o'clock also on the Sunday mornings prayers are read, and a sermon is preached by one of the chaplains at Sydney to the convicts in the barrack, and in the evening the ticket-of-leave men and the convicts at Sydney, not in the service of government, are required to attend at church. In the evening of every Wednesday also, prayers and a sermon are read to such of the convicts as choose to attend, in one of the lower rooms of the convict barrack. From its dimensions, the attendance here is necessarily small, not exceeding 150; but it is stated by the Rev. Mr. Hill, that the convicts who do attend are very orderly in their conduct and deportment.

The government convicts at Paramatta and Windsor are regularly mustered on Sundays, and attend church once a day, and since the arrival of two Catholic clergymen in the colony, the convicts professing that religion have been conducted by their overseers from the barrack to the court house to attend mass, and a sermon has been preached to them in the convict barrack. A similar arrangement is made for them at the other stations when one of the clergymen can make it convenient to attend. When the church is completed that is now building in Hyde Park, the attendance of all the convicts at a place of public worship may be easily provided both on Sundays and on two or three more evenings of the week. Those who now attend church on Sunday mornings are decently dressed in their own clothes, and are punished if they are not so; they are not provided with bibles or prayer books during the service, and though they do not openly disturb it, the manifest no attention to it. The principal superintendent, from the place he occupies in the church, immediately below the gallery of the convicts, can keep no observation on them; and the duties of the preacher have sometimes been interrupted for the purpose of checking irregularities in their conduct, which the presence or the eye of the superintendent would have been sufficient to control.

The service at the convict barrack is performed in the open yard, in the presence of all the convicts who can obtain access to it; some of them take part in singing the psalms, and generally their conduct is decent and orderly. From want of any sufficient deposit for their clothes or their property, the distribution of bibles and books of prayer amongst these men would be unavailing. A room in the barrack adjoining to the house of the deputy superintendent is allotted for their clothes, but is much too small for their present establishment, and is not conducted with any regularity, partly in consequence of the habits of the men, and partly from want of method and strictness in the deputy superintendent. Several of the newly arrived convicts have received presents of bibles and prayer books from the surgeons of the different convict ships; and to those who are well disposed, and have been in the habit of reading the scriptures in their many hours of leisure during the passage, such gifts are both acceptable and useful. I have observed, however, that in the first marches to the different stations in the country, they lose, and sometimes sell them for the purchase of bread and liquor, and in general, it would be better that all such gifts should be retained in deposit at Sydney, by the chaplain, or given in charge to the constables who conduct the convicts on their first arrival in the colony, with orders to deposit them in the hands of the chaplain of the district to which the convicts are sent.

From the many temptations to which the government convicts in Sydney are exposed, it cannot be expected that numerous instances occur of their reformation. To those who either are married, or are followed by their wives and children, and who possess the means of supporting them by their labour on Saturdays, the gradual acquirement of property, and the comforts attending it, afford an inducement to good conduct, of very powerful operation; and it is observed, therefore, that the convict mechanics who are married, and are permitted to live out of barracks, are much less engaged in criminal enterprises than the other descriptions of convicts in Sydney. Their condition indeed cannot be considered as one of hardship, except as it imposes the necessity of greater labour and caution for the support of their families. Numerous instances occur of that exertion being continued through the night, and under the present system of exacting the whole of the daily labour of the convicts for government, the necessity of such exertion is increased; but although the lives of these men are not openly criminal, there is one species of temptation to which they are more exposed than any other description of convicts, and to which their present multifarious employment gives greater latitude. The stores and materials used in the different buildings at Sydney, are kept in a magazine in the lumber yard, and are distributed according to the written requisitions of the different overseers that are made during the day, and that are addressed to the store keeper in the lumber yard. They are conveyed from thence to the buildings by the convict mechanics, and no account of the expenditure or employment of the stores is kept by the overseers, or rendered to the storekeeper. It was only in the early cart of the year 1820, that an account was opened by him of the different materials used in each work or building, and in February 1821, this account was considerably in arrear. The temptation, therefore, that is afforded to the convict mechanics who work in the lumber yard, in secreting tools, stores, and implements, and to those who work at the different buildings is very great, and the loss to government is considerable. The tools moreover have not latterly been mustered as they used to be, once a month, except where one of the convicts is removed from Sydney to another station. All these circumstances, arising from a variety of operations that are going on, and from the perpetual changes that take place in the gangs of workmen, both increase the facilities of plunder, and with the high price that building materials have generally borne in the town of Sydney, present an irresistible temptation to the convict mechanics to secrete and purloin them.

In answer to my inquiry respecting the number of convict mechanics in the service of government, who in the opinion of the chief engineer had conducted themselves well, he at first declared that they were numerous, but upon further reflection, his answer comprised only four individuals; and his list made out at a subsequent period of persons who had been tried for bad crimes, and whom he now considered to be reformed after having been some time in the service of government, comprises 22 names. These persons have either filled, or are now holding, the situations of overseers and superintendents.

In support of the opinion that has thus been given of these individuals by the chief engineer, as indeed of any other estimate that may be formed of the character of the large body of emancipated convicts in New South Wales, it is not to be expected, that positive or even concurrent testimony can be obtained; the greater part of those enumerated are employed in confidential situations under government, and have not yet been accused or proved to have betrayed them, by those who have had opportunities of observing their conduct. These opportunities, however, under the present system of government work at Sydney, are not such as to enable the chief engineer to form a correct judgment of the meritorious performance of their several duties, much less to vouch for the uniformity of their moral conduct. On the other hand, it must be observed, that the instances which this list affords are surprisingly few, compared with the great number of workmen and individuals that have been in the employ of government, from the period of Major Druitt's appointment to that in which this list was returned (a period of two years and three months); and it is further confirmed by the opinion that he has given of the inefficacy of the system of government work in producing reform, as stated in his evidence.

The principles upon which the work for government is conducted at Paramatta, are exactly the same as those that prevail at Sydney, and have been assimilated since the construction of the barrack at this station. It has been followed by a diminution of the offences formerly committed by the government workmen, when unprovided with lodging, and therefore tempted to cohabit with the female convicts who were in the same situation as themselves; but the superintendence of the works at Paramatta is less vigorous and regular than at Sydney; the facilities to plunder greater, from want of a fence to the lumber yard; and the effect of the labour upon the convicts, to whom task work is not given, is, as described by Mr. Rouse, the superintendent, to give them habits of laziness.

The employment of convicts in the cultivation of land, had been discontinued in New South Wales, since the breaking up of the early establishments at Castle Hill and Toongabbee, until the necessity of providing food and pasturage for the draught cattle, employed in the public works at Sydney, seemed absolutely to require such a means of supply. In the period of Captain Gill's superintendence of Grose Farm, the means, as well as the system of cultivation pursued there, did not even meet that object. It has been the endeavour of Major Druitt to accomplish it; and in doing so, to afford an opportunity of making those experiments in agriculture, which the limited means of the settlers in New South Wales would not generally admit. I found this system in operation on my arrival, and my early and present conviction of its importance, led me to recommend the expediency of continuing it to Governor Macquarrie, who has always entertained doubts of the success of any attempt to conduct convict agricultural establishments upon any principle, or upon any system, by which the profits of the labour should be made to balance its expenses. Considerations partly arising from the object that dictated the establishment of Grose Farm in the first instance, and partly arising from the view that I have taken of convict labour, considered both with reference to its profits and effects, led me to make that recommendation; and although I cannot agree in the sanguine and favourable report of this establishment that has been made by Major Druitt, and think, that much of unnecessary, and I may say, of wanton expense in it, might have been avoided; yet I have every reason to believe, that the first impressions to which this establishment gave rise, would have been, or are, capable of being confirmed by a more judicious and economical system of management. The convicts employed in it amount to 150, and their lodging, confinement and employment, is intrusted to a convict overseer, Ebenezer Knox.

It has been the peculiar good fortune of this establishment to have received a large portion or Major Druitt's personal attention. From partiality to agricultural pursuits, he has taken a pleasure in its success, and scarcely a day passes in which a considerable portion of it is not spent in directing or superintending, the operations. Hence has arisen more activity in labour, and more vigilance in the overseer. It has also been accompanied by a detection of his malpractices, that is of no small use in correcting the estimates that are formed of the merits of convicts when placed in such situations. The individual in question was selected for his knowledge in agricultural pursuits; and in Major Druitt's evidence, he is praised for his superior vigilance and system of control. The security indeed of the convicts at Grose Farm, their confinement during the night, and their obedience during the day, are all attributed to the superior merits of this overseer. A few months had scarcely elapsed after this just tribute was paid to him, when a discovery was made of a fraud committed by him, in certifying a return of a greater number of convicts than were actually employed, and in receiving their rations. Upon occasional visits to the farm, likewise, I observed him to be disabled from doing duty from intoxication. In the early period of this man's superintendence, the chief engineer found much to praise in him, both for intelligence in the management of the farm, and in his vigilance in controlling the convicts. In the space of five months, this good opinion was changed, and the testimony he had given in his favour was expunged from his evidence, at the chief engineer's request. The management of the convicts, however, in this establishment, has been more easy than in that of Sydney; complaints against them for misconduct have been less numerous; and several who have returned from the Coal River, whither they had been sent for punishment, and from settlers who had returned them to government as useless, have conducted themselves well, and have been instructed in the agricultural labours of the farm.

The labour of the road parties, and the shell gangs, exposes the convicts to the evil effects of slight control and great temptation. On Saturdays the road parties do not as the overseer is necessarily absent in drawing the rations from the nearest station; and some of the convicts pass the day in idleness, others in washing their clothes, and in straying to the farms of neighbouring settlers. The only means of controlling them during the night, is afforded by mustering them at uncertain hours; hit the effect of this regulation entirely depends upon the vigilance of the overseers. The temptation to plunder afforded to the road parties, by the passage of settlers in their carts going to and from Sydney and Paramatta, many of whom are in a state of intoxication, has led to the commission of highway robberies, to robberies of orchards and poultry-yards, in the vicinity of the several stations. With a view to obviate this evil, the chief engineer has been directed by the governor to select the men of best characters from the convict ships for the road parties; and he has also been guided by their previous habits of life, and by their bodily strength. The great advantages that are derived to the colony from the effectual improvement and repair of the roads communicating with the town of Sydney, counterbalanced in some degree the evils to which this mode of employing the convicts undoubtedly have given rise, and for which there is no remedy; but while this advantage has been gained to the colony, considerable loss has also been sustained by government, in the quantities of slop clothing and bedding that the convicts in the road parties were perpetually detected in selling to the lower classes of settlers in exchange for spirits: sufficient care was not taken, at the first distribution of the convicts at Sydney for this service, to inform the overseer of these parties of the quantities of slop clothing; and bedding that the convicts brought with them, or to furnish them with a list; it was therefore impossible, but from recollection, to contradict or to satisfy the numerous complaints that were urged by all of them, of the want of these necessary articles, or to distinguish between the complaints that were real and those that were pretended; neither was there sufficient care observed by the overseers in mustering them from time to time, or in examining into and reporting the causes of their deficiency; a regulation by which the frequent offence of stealing from each other would have been more easily detected and punished. Except when the road parties are placed near the towns of Paramatta, Liverpool and Windsor, they have no means of attending any religious duty the punishment of offences committed by them is referred to the cognizance of the magistrates at those towns, the overseer having no power to inflict it without their order, and the time that this reference necessarily occupies interferes with the discharge of his local duties. The health of the road parties does not appear to have been affected by the nature of the labour they undergo, and in one instance only have I found that it was affected by their habits of life: this occurrence is described by Mr. West to have taken place amongst a party employed on the western road, leading from Paramatta to Emu Ford, and to have originated from the dampness of the situations in which the huts were placed, on account of their contiguity to water, and the bad construction of the rook at the commencement of the rainy season. The disease, which was a species of typhus fever, affected a great ninny men, and some of them died of it in the hospital at Paramatta. On the removal of time party to more elevated and dry situations, the progress of the disease was immediately stopped.

The nature of time labour of the road parties hies been already described. The selection of ninny well conducted and robust men for this service has certainly deprived the settlers of some very valuable labourers; but the late improvement of the roads has afforded them an easy and speedy conveyance of their produce to market, which they never enjoyed before, and which they were not in a condition to have procured for themselves; and they have been the means of instructing several convicts who had been accustomed to the sea-service, or to employment on canals and rivers, in the labour of clearing land of trees and roots, and thereby rendering them useful to the settlers hereafter.

The agricultural establishment at Longbottom, possesses some local advantages in time speedy and easy conveyance of its produce to Sydney, but from its contiguity to time high road, it affords great temptations to the convicts to escape at night; and in the early part of the evenings to stroll along the road and stop carts and passengers. Frequent instances of these acts of plunder occurred in the latter end of the year 1820, and are attributable in some degree to the want of vigilance and activity in the superintendent, and partly to the difficulty that he experienced in confining the convicts between the hour in which their labour terminated; and the hour of confinement for the night.

The nature of the work in which a party called the shell gang is employed, is described in the evidence of William Hutchinson, the principal superintendent. The men dig for time oyster shells in the bed of the river when the tide is retiring; and as the period of their work is limited, and they are tasked to finish a certain quantity in the week, the labour is severe in itself, and it is frequently performed when they are up to their waists in water. This species of labour is generally reserved for the men of the worst character; and an instance occurred in the latter end of the year 1819, of the evil effects of giving task work, when it is not accompanied by strict confinement and control. A convict named Parsons, who had been tried in London for an offence committed in time month of February 1819, was transported in May following to New South Wales. He was by disposition turbulent and refractory, and for some misconduct at the barrack at Sydney, he was ordered to be placed ill time shell gang at Iron Cove. He had been there only three weeks, when having completed his weekly task on a Thursday, he escaped to Sydney, when time other convicts were at work, and concerted with another man of the same gang, a highway robbery, for which he was tried, sentenced, and, executed in time month of December of the same year.

The convicts at Emu Plains are employed in the clearing and cultivation of the land, and are placed under the superintendence of Mr. Richard Fitzgerald and John Greenhatch. The first of these individuals acts as superintendent of the government works at Windsor, and resides there, visiting Emu Plains not oftener than twice a week.

This establishment differs from the others that have been described in the nature of the controlling authority. Written instructions from the governor have been furnished to the superintendent, by which he is required to report to him alone, respecting the progress of the works, and all occurrences at the establishment; but permission to visit it is allowed to the officers and magistrates of time colony. None of the convicts are allowed to be assigned to settlers, except by time order of the governor, as the establishment was intended by him to afford the means of instruction in agriculture to the convicts whose services were not required by time settler. Those who were sent to Emu Plains were with very few exceptions unacquainted with agricultural employment, and they generally consisted of the most useless and least robust; but the experience of this establishment has shown that in the simple operation of felling timber, burning it, and clearing the land of roots, all descriptions of convicts may be beneficially employed.

An application having been made to Governor Macquarrie in the month of December 1820, by the inhabitants of the districts of Cooke, Airds and Appin, for a temporary loan of several labourers for the sake of securing their crops with expedition, 50 of the convicts from Emu Plains were sent to their assistance.

As the harvest at the establishment at Emu Plains was then in progress, the best labourers were retained for securing it, and the benefits derived to the settlers from the labour of the others were not so great as they otherwise would have been; but the occurrence is mentioned to show the advantage that the government as well as the colonists may occasionally derive from the employment and instruction of the convicts in agricultural pursuits.

The security and confinement of the convicts at this establishment is in some degree promoted by the course of the River Nepean, that separates the plains from the settled districts on the opposite shore, while the contiguous and constant residence of a magistrate, (Sir John Jamieson) upon his estate at Regent Ville, opposite, admits an easy and earlier reference to him for the punishment of offences not cognizable by the superintendent.

The military guard at Emu Plains, consists of seven privates of one of the veteran companies and a corporal. The only object in retaining it at this station is, to afford protection to the commisariat store, for the men are so enfeebled by age as to be incapable of affording resistance even to an unarmed force. In the month of December 1820, a party of 15 convicts left Emu Plains, surprised the small detachment of the veteran company at Spring Wood, the first station on the road to Bathurst, and possessing themselves of their arms and ammunition, wandered in the ravines of the Blue Mountains for the space of five days, subsisting on the provisions they had brought with them; when these were exhausted they again approached the road to Bathurst, and having been observed by some of the stock-keepers in the neighbourhood of Mount York and the valleys beyond it, they were taken by a detachment of the 48th regiment that had been sent in their pursuit. Their intention appears to have been to proceed to the western coast of New Holland, where they believed they should find a Dutch settlement, and by that means effect their escape to India. By a reference to the return of punishments inflicted at Emu Plains, from the 11th September 1819 to the 9th December 1820, it will appear that escapes from thence to the estates of the settlers have not been frequent, although many complaints were made by them of losses sustained in their gardens and orchards.

The river Nepean is fordable during the summer in many places below Emu Plains, and a ferryboat is kept on the eastern branch of the Nepean for the conveyance of passengers and cattle across the river, and to the road that leads to Bathurst. The inconvenient direction of this road has already been noticed, and the use of the ferry by passengers has facilitated the intercourse of the convicts with the inhabitants; they have also passed the Nepean at the falls below the ferry, and in returning upon one occasion, after making this attempt, two of them were drowned.

On alternate Sundays the convicts from Emu Plains have attended divine service at Castlereagh, since the completion of a school-house and chapel for that township.

The situation of Emu Plains is better calculated to meet the objects for which it was formed than any other that presented itself in the settled part of the colony, and the fertility and depth of soil in that portion that is most contiguous to the river Nepean, will ensure an abundant return from any species of grain that may be consigned to it. The produce of the first crop of wheat of 1820, was estimated at 30 bushels an acre, and of maize at 80. Such quantities of timber as were fit for use, were employed in constructing huts, farm buildings and fences, and bricks and shingles were also made upon the spot. All those buildings that were immediately necessary for assisting cultivation had been erected, and it was in contemplation to build a lodge for the temporary accommodation of the governor on his visits to the plains.

Mr. Richard Fitzgerald, who superintends this establishment, was formerly employed in the same capacity at those of Castle Hill and Toongabbee in the years 1792 and 1793; the further progress of this individual, who was formerly a convict, is detailed in his evidence. It is sufficient at present to remark, that it was highly creditable to his industry and to his integrity, and that he has, since the arrival of Governor Macquarrie, not only enjoyed his confidence and friendship, but has held the situation of storekeeper, and clerk in charge, in the commissariat department at Windsor. His former acquaintance with the nature and details of convict labour, and the high opinion entertained of him by Governor Macquarrie no doubt were reasons for his appointment to the superintendence of the establishment at Emu Plains. It is, however, to be observed as well as to be regretted, that at the period of this appointment Mr. Fitzgerald was pursuing several other occupations that positively and indirectly interfered with its duties, and that necessarily affected the relation of superintendent, in which alone he ought to have stood, towards the convicts. In the month of September 1819, Mr. Fitzgerald acted as storekeeper at Windsor, and equally controlled the issue of provisions at Emu Plains; he was likewise superintendent of government works at Windsor, and for which he received a salary of 50l. per annum: he is a proprietor of land and stock in the neighbourhood, and keeps an inn and spirit shop in the town of Windsor, called the Macquarrie Arms, the management of which, although ostensibly in the hands of an emancipated Jew, is controlled by Mr. Fitzgerald and his wife, who occupy a house adjoining, and who are in the habit of giving orders upon the Jew for the delivery of goods and spirits in payment of services performed by the convicts at the establishment at Emu Plains, as well as at the government works at Windsor. These two places are 15 miles distant from each other, and with the demands upon his time and attention that the occupations and superintendence created at Windsor, it was not to be expected that much of either should be devoted to Emu Plains. It appears, indeed, that he has never visited that establishment more than twice a week, and that the duties of superintending it have devolved upon his deputy, J. Greenhatch, who professed to me an anxious desire to betake himself to some more profitable employment. The conduct of Mr. Fitzgerald in this and other situations will be more particularly noticed hereafter, as it became the subject of accusation and judicial investigation during my residence at Paramatta; at present it is observed upon in its effects upon the establishment which he was appointed to superintend, and for which he received a comparatively larger salary than any other officer in the service of the colony.

In the agricultural management of the farm at Emu Plains there was nothing remarkable in point of arrangement, and certainly nothing that denoted activity.

In the month of December 1820, more than a year after the establishment had commenced, a garden for the use of the convicts had been made, on ground that was formerly a stock-yard. A few plants of tobacco had been set, and an ineffectual attempt had been made to grind in a hand-mill the wheat and maize consumed at Emu Plains: this labour, although useful as a punishment, was found to be too severe for ordinary employment. It is to be observed, that the convicts at Emu Plains were not selected for their skill, as many of those at Grose Farm and Longbottom are, by the chief engineer; nor has Mr. Fitzgerald that unlimited command of means, cattle and implements, that are possessed at Sydney.

The establishments that have been mentioned comprise the ordinary means of affording labour to the convicts in the employment of government in New South Wales.

There are also convicts that are described in the returns as stationary servants, whose employment it is necessary to notice: such are the convicts employed as clerks to the magistrates; those employed in keeping accounts, and assisting the superintendents and overseers in making out returns; and those at the different barracks, employed in performing the domestic duties of cooks, bakers and washers. The commissariat department at each station likewise employs a considerable number of convicts, both as clerks and labourers, and the attendance on the sick in the hospitals; and the dispensing of medicine is also performed by them. To the clerks in the higher situations, the services of a government convict are assigned by way of remuneration; and in the selection of this last description of men, consideration is had to their former situations in life and their acquirements; as the immediate consignment of them on arrival in New South Vales to manual labour, in the dress worn by the convicts, is found to inflict upon them a greater degree of mental and bodily suffering, than upon those of the lower and labouring classes, and the manual labour that they are capable of performing is inconsiderable.

It is found, on the other hand, that the clerical employment afforded in the higher offices, and in the courts, gives them an air of authority and presumption most unsuited to their condition: the profits of the employment of their leisure hours, and of their occasional assistance to the shopkeepers and merchants, or to the lower orders of settlers, and convicts (in drawing petitions and memorials for them), are most frequently consumed in dissipation and extravagance, and they affect superiority in dress and appearance, which excites a feeling of envy in the class to which they belong, and of indignation and contempt in that of free persons, to whom they aspire. It may be safely affirmed, that there is no class of convicts to whom the punishment of transportation becomes, under these circumstances, so light; and none in whom reformation is less to be expected.

The labourers in the commissariat department are employed in receiving and depositing grain and meat in the stores, and turning it over and cleaning it. The difficulties that have been from time to time experienced by the settlers in obtaining admission for their grain, and the advantages they derive from bribing these men to procure an early turn amidst the numerous competitors for that benefit on one and the same day, have led to their repeated dismissal and punishments for intoxication. Another source of corruption arises from the attempts of the settlers to conceal the bad quality or dirty condition of their grain, by procuring, through the assistance of these labourers, an admixture of it with grain of good quality on the same floor. The utmost vigilance of the officers in the commissariat department is necessary to detect these practices, and it is at the Sydney station they are most frequently and successfully attempted.

The complaints of theft and neglect of duty against the convicts employed in the hospitals are very frequent; and as no attempt is made to select convicts for these situations, who, from previous good conduct, might be supposed to withstand temptation better than the rest, the loss to government in clothing and bedding is considerable, and the medical treatment of the hospital patients is exposed to serious obstruction.

The government work performed at Hobart Town, in Van Dieman's Land, is directed by Major Bell, an officer of the 48th regiment, the acting engineer at that station, who receives his orders from the lieutenant-governor. No works, however, are undertaken without reference to the governor in chief, and the plans of the buildings receive his sanction before they are finally adopted.

The acting engineer at Hobart Town has an assistant, who came free to the island, and who resides at a house near the lumber yard in Hobart Town, where the principal works are carried on. The system of superintendence is precisely similar to that which prevails at Sydney; but its efficiency in enforcing regular attendance is increased by the presence of the acting engineer at the morning musters, and by the greater contraction of the works that he has to direct. The hours of convict labour are from six till nine, and from ten till three in summer; and from eight till one o'clock without intermission in winter. On Saturdays the convicts leave their work at ten in summer and eleven in winter, to enable them to attend at the store to draw their rations, and on Wednesdays one hour is allowed them for the same purpose.

From one o'clock, therefore, in winter, and from three o'clock in summer, the convicts at Hobart Town have the remainder of every working day in the week to themselves. The reason of this dispensation from work, is to enable them, by their own labour, to provide lodging and washing for themselves. The demand for all kinds of mechanical labour at Hobart Town would at all times enable mechanics to many for both; but it appears that the wages of brickmakers, whose labour is much in demand, have experienced a considerable reduction between the year 1818 and the beginning of 1820, arising from the number of convicts that devoted themselves to an occupation that was found to be profitable, and from the accession of others, during that period, who were capable of pursuing it. The prices of a weekly lodging in Hobart Town to a convict was estimated, in March 1820, at five shillings, and for this sum he is admitted to live and sleep in the house; but there are many who take up their abode in the back part of it, called the skilling, for which the labour of providing wood and water is taken as a payment. As soon as they are assigned to the working gangs after debarkation from the ships, they are allowed to look for lodgings where they please, and if they are not able to find them, the chief constable is directed to billet them for a short period on the houses of other prisoners, or they are lodged in a room in the gaol, or in the lock-up house. The want of any better mode of distribution and accommodation has certainly increased the quantity and frequency of crime in Hobart Town. To the industrious part of the convicts, the uncontrolled use of a great portion of the day affords an early inducement to acquire and possess property of their own, and to conduct themselves well; but to those who have lived in towns, and have been familiar with their vices, it affords an irresistible temptation to idleness during the day, and to acts of plunder and to house-breaking during the night. A partial correction of these evils has been attained, by fitting up two rooms in a brick building that was formerly a gaol, in which about 50 convicts can sleep on guard beds. Constables for the special control of this building, and those comprising the nightly watch, occupy a room at the end of it, and even by means of this limited establishment, it appears that some security from nocturnal depredations has been accomplished. All the convicts who lodge in the town are required to be in their quarters at eight o'clock, the hour at which the bell rings, and those that are found in the streets after that hour are apprehended. The constables likewise have the power of entering public houses after this hour, and all houses where the government convicts lodge at night, on suspicion of their misconduct or concealment, and of conveying them to the house of confinement.

As many of the mechanics, and indeed of the labourers, in the employ of government, are able to perform their task before the expiration of the hours of labour, much expedition is used in accomplishing it, and the evil consequences of the system of task work that were noticed in describing its operation at Sydney, are found equally to exist at Hobart Town. They were particularly observable in the article of bricks made in the government time, which I found to be very inferior in quality to those made by the same brickmakers on their own account or in their own time, although composed nearly of the same materials, and burnt in kilns immediately adjoining to those of government. The brickwork, likewise, of time church lately erected at Hobart Town, as well as of the hospital and government house, are very defective. One cause of the defect was found to arise from an inequality in the sizes of the moulds of the bricks, and from a practice that has prevailed at Hobart Town, of allowing the overseers to work themselves, instead of superintending and instructing the other workmen. The want of architectural knowledge in designing and conducting the buildings is the principal cause of these defects, and has been quite as conspicuous at Hobart Town as it was at Sydney previous to the arrival of Mr. Greenway. It is also unfortunate that at this settlement, where there is abundance of stone to be procured, so few stonemasons should have been sent from Sydney, and that bricks should have been so much used in the construction of the public buildings, as well as in those of individuals. From the bad quality of those generally made at Hobart Town, it is found necessary to secure them from the effect of sea air and moisture by plaster; and it has been universally found that stone buildings afford a greater security against house-breakers than those built of brick.

It has been usual for government to pay, for the extra labour of their own mechanics when any expedition or neatness of execution was required, and a return was made to me of the sums thus expended from the month of June 1818 to the month of March 1820, amounting to 620l. 16s. 6d. The payment of this extra labour is calculated according to time, and not to the quantity of work that the men perform, so that time superintendence of an overseer is equally requisite, as in time ordinary government time, to ensure the execution of a sufficient quantity. Three shillings are given for the daily extra labour of a mechanic, and two for that of a labourer. It appears, however, that the mechanics employed at Hobart Town have been few, and generally unskilful. In the month of February 1820, the total number of convicts employed there amounted to 533; and out of 19 blacksmiths, five only were good workmen; out of 30 carpenters, only seven; and out of 13 bricklayers, only three were good workmen.

From the returns furnished by the secretary to the lieutenant-governor, it appears that from the year 1810 to time 8th April 1817, 521 convicts arrived in both settlements of Van Dieman's Land, and of these 199 were from England direct, and the remaining 322 were from Sydney; and as no account was kept of time distribution of the convicts at Hobart Town previous to the arrival of Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, in the month of April 1817, nor any register or document found there, or handed over to him by his predecessor Lieutenant-colonel Davey, the proportion that the mechanics bore to the whole number of convicts that arrived from 1810 to that period cannot be determined.

A return was made to me by the principal superintendent Crowder, of the artificers employed in the public works at Hobart Town, from the month of August 1813 to the month of July 1817; but he was not able, either from recollection or from documents, to ascertain the causes of their annual increase or decrease; and the amount of his return of mechanics employed in the month of April 1817, differs very materially from a similar return made from the office of the lieutenant-governor's secretary. Out of 1,844 convicts that arrived at Hobart Town from the month of April 1817 to the month of December 1819, 746 (of whom 111 were mechanics) have been retained in the government service, 41 have been assigned as government men to officers, superintendents and overseers, 523 have been sent to Port Dalrymple, and 534 have been assigned to settlers.

The same operations, for supplying timber and lime to the works at Hobart Town, are pursued there as at Sydney. The timber was procured in the years 1817 and 1818, from the banks of the rivulet that flows from the Table Mountain through Hobart Town.

The access to this supply was never easy; and as it lately began to fail, recourse was had to North West Bay in D'Entrecasteaux's Straits, situated on the western side of the entrance of the river Derwent, and distant about 20 miles from Hobart Town. Seven men and an overseer are stationed at this place, and are employed in cutting and sawing timber, which is conveyed in boats or a government vessel to Hobart Town.

The supply of timber at this place is abundant, and consists chiefly of those species of the eucalyptus that have received the names of iron bark and stringy bark; a small quantity of wood that is called cedar (a species of coarse mahogany) has been received from Sydney, for the fittings of the church at Hobart Town; and the huon pine, a wood peculiar to Van Dieman's Land, has been also purchased from an individual at that place, to whom a monopoly of the supply was granted for two years by Governor Macquarrie, in consideration of his having fitted out a vessel for the discovery of harbours on the western coast of the island. It was not intended that the government should be bound by the monopoly, but the vessel (called the Prince Leopold) that was purchased at Sydney on account of government, and destined for this particular service, was found to be of too large a draught, and incapable of entering Macquarrie harbour, in which port alone the huon pine is at present found to be accessible or abundant.

On account of the distance of North West Bay from any settlement, and from Hobart Town, the conduct of the men employed in this service has not been complained of; and they are permitted to send to Hobart Town, for sale on their own account, such quantities of wood as they are able to cut in their own time.

Lime is procured from a place called Double Bay, on the eastern shore of the river Derwent, from shells dug up and burnt upon the spot. Seven men are employed there, and work their own boat in bringing their lime to Hobart Town. Stone lime has been found in a quarry immediately above Hobart Town: it is of greater strength than the shell lime; but as it is taken at present from strata that lie near the surface, it is mixed with a considerable quantity of earthy matter, and it is not applicable to finer uses. On emergencies, the stone lime is purchased from the men of the lime burners gang, as part of their extra labour, at 6d. and the shell lime at 9d. per bushel.

The returns furnished by the acting engineer at Hobart Town exhibit the various descriptions of mechanics, as well as the occupations of those described as labourers, amounting to 214, and many of which nearly correspond with the occupations of the class called stationary servants at Sydney.

Agricultural labour on government account had not been tried at Hobart Town further than by an inclosure of a tract of hilly land contiguous to it, comprising near 3,000 acres, and of various qualities, (but in which the inferior predominate), that is occupied by the draught cattle and horses in the use of government, and the cows allowed for the use of the lieutenant-governor, the acting engineer, and the officer in the commissariat department.

This tract is called the government domain, and is bounded on the east side by the river Derwent; and the separation of it by a fence from the open land, on the north and west side, was absolutely necessary for securing pasturage, which in the immediate neighbourhood of Hobart Town is procured, at all times, with difficulty, the land being uncultivated, and consisting of a sterile clay, and large masses of sandstone. In winter, the cattle are fed upon straw and bran.

One road party only had been employed under the direction of the acting engineer, in the neighbourhood of Hobart Town, in repairing and improving the road that leads from thence to Austen's Ferry, a distance of twelve miles, and which forms the principal communication with the interior of the island, and with Port Dalrymple. It was in contemplation to form another on a line of unformed road that leads from Kangaroo Point, on the eastern shore of the Derwent, and immediately opposite Hobart Town, communicating with the fertile district of Pittwater; to improve the ascent of a very steep hill on the road to Port Dalrymple, as well as in the line of communication between Elizabeth Town and Macquarrie Plains. With these exceptions, and that of two gangs of convicts employed in forming and levelling the streets at Hobart Town, the labour of the convicts at that station has been entirely devoted to the construction of buildings for government, or to the construction of louses or small tenements in the town, during their own time. For the reasons already assigned, the labour of the convicts for government is imperfectly and carelessly performed, and there is generally much less of activity and of coercion than at Sydney. The acting engineer never ventures to inflict any greater punishment upon the government convicts by his own authority, than that of confinement to extra of work; and as he in all other cases strictly abstains from any cognizance of their offences, except when sitting with the other magistrates, much of his own time and that of his assistant is consumed in the examination and trial of the charges that he finds it his duty to prefer against them, and much of the benefit of summary punishment is lost.

To counterbalance these disadvantages much more attention is given to the preservation of the tools and utensils than at Sydney, and a large portion of the time of the assistant superintendent is devoted to the issue of them, and to noting deficiencies.

The supply of stores and implements at this station from Sydney, with the exception of two articles only, has latterly been inconsiderable; and the most useful and requisite tools have been purchased from time to time by the acting engineer, for either from the stores of the merchants in Hobart Town, from the casual investments of captains of merchant ships, or have been made in the lumber-yard by the convicts. From the want of the usual government mark, and the difficulty of impressing it upon every description of the purchased tools, some loss has been occasioned; and it appears, that at this station, as well as at Sydney, the offence of stealing, and of using the government tools without leave, is very frequent.

The effect of government labour, as it is now conducted at Hobart Town, both upon the minds of the convicts, and in raising the price of labour to individuals, is strongly described in the evidence of Mr. Gatehouse, to whom a newly arrived mason was assigned, for the purpose of forwarding the construction of a brewery at a very eligible situation only two miles distant from Hobart Town.

The high daily wages (amounting to 7s. 6d. or 10s.) that the convict could have obtained by working for individuals there during his own time, and after his work for government was finished, operated as such a temptation to him to quit the compulsory work to which he was assigned in the country, and which his master Mr. Gatehouse had a right to enforce during the whole of the day, that after a short time, and having learnt the difficulties in which Mr. Gatehouse would be placed, and that he would have suffered by complaining, to a magistrate, he took advantage of them, and insisted upon an agreement for an amount of wages to which he had no right. His master refused to comply with this demand, and the man then absconded. He was apprehended, but not punished at the request of his master, upon his promise to pay him the full value of his work, deducting only his subsistence.

The convicts at George Town have been employed in the construction of buildings for government and houses for themselves, ever since the 11th December 1815, Governor Macquarrie having resolved at that time to put into execution the measure that had previously been sanctioned by your Lordship, on his representation, for removing the government establishments from Launceston to George Town, several convict mechanics were dispatched thither and placed under the directions of Mr. W. E. Leith, a free person, who had been selected and appointed to this service by Governor Macquarrie, with a salary of 75l. per annum.

The residence of Major Stuart, the military commandant, continued to be fixed at Launceston, a distance of 40 miles by water, and 36 by land, from George Town.

The want of co-operation between Major Stuart and Mr. Leith, and the positive opposition of the former to the orders of Governor Macquarrie, for some time retarded the advancement of the buildings at George Town, and these circumstances, combined with the delay occasioned by the frequent absence of the superintendent Leith, at Launceston in prosecution and punishment of the convicts employed under him, convinced Governor Macquarrie of the necessity of removing the residence of the commandant from Launceston to George Town, as soon as ever proper accommodation was made for him. This removal took place in the month of May 1819, and since that period, and the addition of some mechanics, and an overseer of carpenters from Sydney, the works have proceeded with greater rapidity.

In consequence of the removal of Mr. Leith for acts of gross immorality, the superintendence of the works has been placed in the hands of Lieutenant Vandermeulen, of the 48th regiment, and subsequently under that of Lieutenant Kenworthy. The supply of timber at this station is attended with more difficulty than at any of the others, on account of the distance at which it is procured, and the peculiar hardness of the grain. Limestone is found in quarries on the banks of the Tamer, and bricks are made in the immediate neighbourhood of George Town; but from want of tenacity in the soil they are very unsound.

The number of convicts at George Town, in the month of April 1820, amounted to 204, and of these 103 were mechanics. The labourers consist of the worst description of convicts, men who have been sent from Sydney to Hobart Town for crime and misconduct, and from thence to George Town for the same causes.

The nature of the labour at this station is not in any degree more severe than at the others; but as it is at some distance from any settlement, the access to spirits is not so frequent, and the means of purchasing them for labour not so readily obtained.

The salutary effects of this privation, however, have been considerably lessened by a practice that prevailed till very lately, of paying for all extra labour performed by the convict mechanics, and the weekly stipends of the clerks, overseers and constables, principally in spirits and sugar. From the 1st May 1819 to the 31st March 1820, the sum of 80l. 5s. was paid for extra labour at George Town, in rum at 30s. per gallon, and sugar at 1s. 6d. per lb.

The causes that led to this practice will be noticed hereafter, but its effects upon the free and convict population both at George Town and Launceston were very distinctly marked.

To afford the convicts an opportunity of building huts and houses, their labour for government ceased at three o'clock every day.

This indulgence, at first, was very grossly abused by the convicts, who wantonly set fire to the houses they had erected. Latterly, they had been billetted neon the houses of others, who were assisted in building them, building condition of receiving a certain number; but either from the anxiety expressed by the commandant to hasten the execution of the buildings in progress, or from the indolence of a large portion of the convicts, their habitations have been little attended to, and are very badly constructed. In the month of April 1820, there were 14 wooden houses, and 43 skillings at George Town, and they were occupied by 241 male convicts and 24 females. The use of the government teams, for the conveyance of timber, has been allowed to many whose conduct seemed to entitle them to such an assistance; but it was found that a benefit that was intended only for themselves, was often clandestinely communicated to others; and the government draught cattle were overpowered, and the carts injured by excessive weights and careless driving.

The only means that the convict mechanics at George Town have of profiting by their hours of leisure, consist in working for the few people who are compelled to live there, and are constructing houses, or in making furniture which they send up to Launceston for sale. But the prices of all commodities that are retailed there are so high, that their profit upon their extra labour is inconsiderable. The female convicts who cohabit with the government convicts at George Town are chiefly employed in this traffic and it is said to have afforded opportunities for the concealment of stolen property that finds its way over from Hobart Town to Launceston.

At the early periods of this establishment, and when there were few convicts in the settlements near Launceston, small parties of government convicts were sent from George Town to assist the settlers in the harvest; but this mode of employing them has ceased for the present, and those whose services are not useful in the buildings are employed in what is called the camp gang, in clearing stumps of trees, and preparing the ground for building. The whole of them are, however, obliged to devote a small portion of each day to the labour of grinding their ration of wheat, which, from the badness of the machinery of the mill, and the number of persons demanding amen to it, produces dispute, delay and confusion.

The obvious necessity of providing some means of grinding wheat for so large and increasing an establishment, at last induced the commandant to purchase the machinery of a windmill that had been commenced at Launceston; but on account of the imperfect construction of this mill, and the determination of the officer of the commissariat department, not to issue grain to the miller until the mill was delivered over to his department, it had not been of much service; and the grain consumed at George Town was ground at a hand-mill, which, when worked by four men, would only grind four bushels in an hour, and two steel mills for the use of the gaol and hospital.

Attempts to escape from George Town have not been so numerous as might have been expected, considering the opportunities and temptations arising from the passage of vends through Bass's Straits, or the number of islands that are the resort of parties employed in the seal fishery.

One attempt, of a very deliberate nature, was made in the year 1818; a large launch was found to have been built by a party of convicts, who from time to time had watched opportunities of crossing the river Tamer, and had pursued their occupation in a bay situated on the shore of Bass's Straits, and only four miles distant from George Town. They were detected and surprised by a party of the 48th regiment, and the launch was brought to York Cove.

The government boats, which are more numerous at this station than there is any present occasion for, are well secured at night; and a military guard is placed on board of those that are employed in supplying lime, and conveying commissariat stores to and from Launceston. The service of the boat crews is frequently severe, and when they arrive at Launceston, after a long and fatiguing row of nine hours or more, they have no lodging for the night, and are obliged to remain under cover of their sails on the wet and marshy shore of the river Tamer.

Crimes of theft and gambling are more frequent at this station than at the others, and these vices are encouraged by the state of prostitution in which the women who are sent to George Town live with the male convicts.

The punishments that are inflicted are precisely of the same kind as those used at Hobart Town, and are equally inefficient.

Since the arrival of the commandant at George Town, divine service has been performed on Sundays, in the centre of the town, by time inspector of the works: the distance and uncertainty of the navigation of the river Tamer, from Launceston, not having admitted the performance of that duty at both places on time same day, by the Rev. Mr. Youl, whose residence was at Launceston, and would remain so until the house that was preparing for him at George Town should be completed.

Such are the several kinds of labour performed by time convicts retained in the service of government in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, and as they have grown altogether out of the presumed wants of the local governments, little consideration has been afforded by them to the effects that they have produced, either in the shape of punishment or of reform.

The distribution of the convicts in the first instance, the resumption of their services at subsequent periods, the extension of them beyond the terms assigned to others, have contributed to create an universal impression upon the minds of the convicts, that skilfulness in work, rather than immoral conduct, was the cause of their first enthralment, and the measure of its continuance. This feeling produces discouragement, carelessness, and not unfrequently malicious and wanton destruction of the property of government.

The local temptations to plunder that assail the convict employed in the towns, and the habits of luxurious indulgence that he acquires during his period of compulsory service, tend to fix his residence there when he is emancipated; and while the price of mechanical labour is thus enhanced to the settlers in the country, the habits of the mechanic himself become permanently depraved and licentious.

It has been seen by the information already afforded, that the system of government labour pursued at Sydney, Paramatta and Windsor, presents only a choice of evils; that the only stimulus to active labour amongst the convict mechanics is created by their hope of temporary and luxurious indulgence, that it is neither subject to regulation, nor capable of it and that where it is created by means of task work, there is more of loss incurred by the careless manner of the performance, than of advantage gained by its accelerated rate. This system, likewise, considered as a part of punishment, is equally defective; it proceeds upon the principle of making skill and sudden exertion, rather than uniform and tried good conduct, the steps to temporary reward. By this means the skilful and immoral man is indulged and rewarded, and the inexpert and well-conducted man is made uneasy and discontented. On the other hand, it is observed, that where all stimulus to labour is withdrawn, coercion becomes necessary; but it is that species of coercion that is incapable, from want of character or extent, of being exactly applied; and failing in these essential points, coercive labour, although operating as a punishment, becomes an instrument and a pretext for vexation and oppression.

It has been remarked by the principal superintendent, and indeed it is otherwise apparent, that the accumulation in the town of Sydney, of so many convicts employed by government, is the cause of the many crimes that are committed in it; and this opinion is confirmed by the observations of all the magistrates to whom I applied for information.

It is the concurrent opinion of these individuals, as well as the superintendent, that there is a much greater desire in the convicts to associate together in towns, than to live separate and retired in the country.

The perpetual presence of every species of temptation to vice, and the opportunities that are afforded there of gratifying such propensities, by the plunder of the property of government, or that of individuals, operate powerfully upon the minds as well as the conduct of the convicts on their first arrival; and it is stated by the superintendent that no less a period than two years is requisite to make them sensible even of control. In the course of that period, and subsequently to it, their dispositions to theft are but feebly checked by the police of Sydney, or by their confinement in the barracks there and at Paramatta, or by the punishment of flogging and the gaol gang. The numbers, indeed, that have arrived within the last three years, have multiplied the difficulties of control, while the establishments have not kept pace with them, either in point of efficacy or in extent.

From the want of a proper account of the crimes and offences committed by the convicts in government employ, further than that which may be collected from the general returns in the office of the magistrates of police at Sydney and Paramatta, and which afford no description of the particular condition of the convicts, it is impossible to state with precision the effect that the employment of the convicts in the town may reasonably be supposed to produce upon the three classes into which they are divided. Upon this point there is great difference of opinion expressed by the chief engineer, Major Druitt, and the principal superintendent, Hutchinson; the former asserting that the convicts transported for life are more irreclaimable than those transported for shorter terms; while the latter maintains, that those transported for fourteen years, and for life, generally conduct themselves well, but that those transported for seven years begin to be refractory and disobedient as their period of servitude draws to a conclusion.

The return of crimes and offences committed in the settlements of Van Dieman's Land, do not specify whether the convicts that were punished were in the employ of government or of the settlers, although those made by the magistrate of police at Hobart Town, distinguish the several periods for which they were transported; and as there existed no other record or registry of offences, the positive effect of the employment of the convicts of each class at these stations, in the service of government, cannot be determined by a reference either to the numbers or to the nature of the offences that have been committed there. The magistrate of police at Hobart Town was of opinion that the system pursued there, admitting, as it does, a separation of the convicts from each other, in houses either built or hired by themselves; contributed more to their moral improvement than confining them all, indiscriminately, in one barrack; and that the apprehension of being removed, in cases of misconduct, from the enjoyment and occupation of the small buildings that they are allowed to construct and acquire in the town, afforded a great degree of security for their good conduct. It is admitted, however, by this officer, to whose opinion upon this subject considerable weight is to be attached, that a place of confinement during the night, or during hours in which no labour is going on, is also necessary for the control of those convicts that are known to be disorderly, or who are unwilling to provide a lodging for themselves. It is also a matter of still further importance to provide for the lodging of convicts of all classes in the employ of government on their immediate arrival in the colony. Their first resort is naturally made to their relations, or to their former associates in crime; and in either case the chances of misconduct are increased, by an early initiation into the vices of the towns, and the effect of restraint is thus lost at the moment when it ought to be most sensibly felt. At Hobart Town, as well as at Sydney, the evil consequences of admitting there a larger number of convicts than were able to provide themselves with lodgings by their labour, began to be felt in the year 1820, and much anxiety was expressed by Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, to commence the construction of a barrack that might be adequate to receive the numbers that were expected to arrive, and that might not be taken by the settlers. This work was at last undertaken in December 1820, and had only awaited the sanction of Governor Macquarrie; a sanction that I should have felt myself called upon to have urged immediately on my return from Van Dieman's Land, if, from the manifold evils that I perceived to arise from the accumulation of convicts in towns, I had not felt reluctance to advise the adoption of any measure that necessarily would be followed by that accumulation, though it provided a partial and insufficient remedy.

The encouragement to acquire property in houses and tenements, that is afforded by the residence of convicts in the towns, and the stimulus to industry that it excites, is also accompanied by an encouragement to steal the materials, where they cannot be otherwise acquired; and that many of the convicts, who have built houses in Hobart Town, as well as at Sydney and Paramatta, have been aided by these means, no doubt is entertained.

The property and stores of government are perpetually resorted to for these purposes, and in proportion to the increase of the government works, the means of vigilant inspection have diminished, and opportunities of plunder have multiplied. Unless, therefore, the convict can prove that he is able to procure by his labour or by the fruits of it, the means of erecting his own dwelling, the liberty that is granted of building it, and acquiring a property in the materials, is productive of a greater evil than his casual occupation of the tenement of another.

At none of the settlements, except Newcastle, or at least in none of the towns, has it been practicable to prevent; the sale of spirituous liquors to the convicts, whenever they can afford the means of purchasing them; and it is admitted by Mr. Wentworth, the police magistrate at Sydney, who has had considerable experience on this subject, that the desire of obtaining spirituous liquors is the principal incentive to crime amongst the convicts, and that the greatest and only chance of their improvement is to be found in the absolute privation, of diem. The difficulty of making any effectual regulation, by which the sale of spirits to a convict should become penal, is greatly increased by the want of an uniform dress or mark, by which that class of the population should be distinguished; and this difficulty would be increased when the regulation came to be applied to that class of the convicts who most generally possessed the means of purchasing spirits, and whose use of them was the least capable of being restrained. This class is composed of the mechanics and tradesmen, who are allowed to live in the towns, and who are on no occasion required to appear in their convict dresses, except on their arrival. The dress therefore of these men, being that of ordinary persons, is no indication of their condition; and their resort to public houses could only be detected by the superintendent of convicts and the overseers.

From the disposition that had previously been evinced by Governor Macquarrie to increase, rather than diminish, the number of houses licensed for the sale of spirits in Sydney and the other towns, it did not appear to me, that he had viewed in the same light that I did, the great evil of placing strong temptation in the way of men whose previous habits, and whose present occupations and local employments, were calculated to render them easy victims of the dissipation that these houses afforded. I contented myself, therefore, at the early period of my residence in New South Wales, with recommending that one public house which, from being immediately opposite the gate of the lumber yard at Sydney, afforded the greatest temptation to the convicts, and a few others, that had been more notorious than the rest for promoting riot and debauchery, should be suppressed. It will be seen hereafter by what means this recommendation was carried into effect.

The impressions that my early though short residence in the town of Sydney had afforded me of the bad effects of employing so many convicts in the works conducted on account of government in the towns, and which had received considerable confirmation from what I had observed at Hobart Town, made me very anxious to see some limitation given to the numerous operations that were going forward at Sydney, and to the continued successive appropriation of the numerous mechanics that were arriving at the end of the year 1819 and the commencement of 1820. As it appeared to me that the evils of this system, both as they regarded the convicts, and the expense that they occasioned to the crown, could only be palliated or justified by some strong necessity for the buildings upon which they were employed; and having observed that three had been commenced previous to my arrival, which in their scale and character could not be vindicated by that principle, while some others that the same necessity very obviously required, were not even in contemplation; I suggested to Governor Macquarrie the expediency of stopping all work then in progress, that was merely of an ornamental nature, and of postponing its execution till other more important building's were finished: first taking care to secure from damage the work that had been already done, or to advance it only so much further to place the buildings upon which it had been bestowed, in a serviceable state. With this view it was that I recommended to the governor to stop the progress of a large church, the foundation of which had been laid previous to my arrival, and which, by the estimate of Mr. Greenway the architect, would have required six years to complete. By a change that I recommended, and which the governor adopted in the destination of the new court-house at Sydney, the accommodation of a new church is probably by this time secured, and would have been obtained sooner if Mr. Greenway, the colonial architect, had not succeeded in persuading Governor Macquarrie to allow the addition of two semicircular projections in the centre of this building, one of which might have formed an useful addition in affording room for a vestry; but the other was constructed with so little attention to the nature of the ground and to the width of the street, that the principal object, which was that of making a large ornamental entrance, was of necessity abandoned. It was not, however, till a late period that this took place, and a large square portico was substituted, by which the character of the building will be preserved, and less encroachment will be made upon the street. As I conceived that considerable advantage had been gained by inducing Governor Macquarrie to suspend the progress of the larger church, I did not deem it necessary to make any pointed objection to the addition of these ornamental parts of the smaller one; though I regretted to observe in this instance, as well as in those of the new stables at Sydney, the turnpike gate house and the new fountain there, as well as in the repairs of an old church at Paramatta, how much more the embellishment of these places had been considered by the governor, than the real and pressing wants of the colony. The buildings that I had recommended to his early attention in Sydney were, a new gaol, a school-house, and a market-house: the defects of the first of these buildings will be more particularly pointed out when I come to describe the buildings that have been erected in New South Wales; it is sufficient for me now to observe that they were striking, and of a nature not to be remedied by additions or repairs; the other two were in a state of absolute ruin; they were also of undeniable importance and necessity. Having left Sydney in the month of February 1820 with these impressions, and with a belief that the suggestions I had made to Governor Macquarrie respecting them had been partly acted upon, And would continue to be so Burin my absence in Van my residence in that settlement, the resumption of the work at the large church in Sydney, and the steady continuation of the others that I had objected to, especially Dieman's Land, it was not without much surprise and regret that I learnt during the governor's stables at Sydney. I felt the greater surprise in receiving the information respecting this last-mentioned structure, during my absence in Van Dieman's Laud, as the governor himself had upon many occasions expressed to me his own regret at having ever sanctioned it, and his consciousness of its extravagant dimensions and ostentatious character. With such testimony of the impression that it had made upon his own mind, I had not thought it either necessary or decorous to wound Governor Macquarrie's feelings by any further observations of an official kind than those I have stated before; and it was not until I saw a determination evinced on his part to neglect, during my absence, the suggestions that I had previously made to him, that I resorted to the authority with which I was invested by my instructions, of protesting against all further continuance of the church. I did not extend this protest to the two other buildings, as I was not exactly apprized of the state they were in, or of the extent of loss that might be occasioned by their sudden suspension; but I did not fail to express to Governor Macquarrie, in strong terms, the sense that I entertained of the course that he was then pursuing, and briefly pointed out to him the changes that appeared to me to be expedient in the general management of the convicts. The consequence of my protest was an early suspension of the building of the church, and in, the reply in which this acquiescence in my views was communicated, the governor professed his readiness to enter into and to support them; but as I felt that even the governor's support would be ineffectual, unless the general management of the convicts was altogether changed, and placed in better hands than those to whom it was then committed; and that the difficulties that would then ensue from this change, as well as the conflict in which it would involve me with old established practice and interests, would require more of my personal attention than I could possibly have devoted to them; I did not enter into any detailed explanation of my views, but endeavoured thenceforward to impress the governor's mind, with the expediency of devoting the great means at his disposal, to the construction of works of urgent necessity, or of solid utility to the colony; and with the great inexpediency of prematurely introducing into a new colony a taste for ornamental and expensive modes of building. I cannot here avoid noticing the arguments used by the governor to justify, in your Lordship's view, the increase of expense to the crown, by retaining so many convict labourers in its service. It is alleged by him, that this retention of them was a matter of necessity, arising out of the incapacity of the settlers to receive or maintain them, on account of the losses they had sustained by repeated floods; and that the expense incurred in constructing the several edifices then in contemplation or in progress, amounted to little more than that which he alleged to be an unavoidable one, of subsisting the convicts that could not be so received. Now, when I come to consider the subject of employment of the convicts by the settlers, it will be seen, that these objections either to maintain or receive them have never so much arisen from their own incapacity or poverty, as from the general incapacity for labour in the servants assigned to them. At the period at which Governor Macquarrie addressed this dispatch to your Lordship, two-thirds of the convicts in the employ of government, consisted either of mechanics, tradesmen, or useful labourers, whose distribution amongst the settlers would not only have been gladly accepted by them, but would have afforded the means, so long and so eagerly desired by them, of constructing better buildings than those they now possess. Even at a later period than that now referred to, the principal superintendent of convicts, who must be considered as an unwilling witness upon the subject of distributing good mechanics or useful labourers to the settlers, admitted, that so late as the month of November 1819, there would not only be a sufficient demand for twenty or more, from six of the classes of mechanics employed by government, but that if their services were put up to sale in the colony, there would have been a competition for them. To the strength of this testimony I can safely venture to add my own, arising from the many applications that I received for mechanics from different individuals, and which I should have certainly forwarded to Governor Macquarrie, but for the considerations of favour and obligation that were always understood to accompany his acquiescence in these requests, and of the entire inexpediency as well as impropriety of my incurring any such obligation towards him. The demand for blacksmiths had been so great in the district of Liverpool, that Governor Macquarrie, at the solicitation of Mr. Moore, a magistrate, was induced to give a ticket of leave to a convict transported for life, who was joined soon after his arrival by his wife and some other relations, for the purpose of establishing himself in that town, and affording some facility to the settlers of the districts of Airds and Appin, who, although at a distance of more than twelve miles, derived some partial advantage from this arrangement; therefore, although it may be admitted that Governor Macquarrie was justified in selecting and retaining the best of the mechanics and labourers for the government works that had been approved as either necessary or expedient, yet I cannot think that he was justified in stating to your Lordship the refusal of the settlers to take the bad and inexperienced convicts, as a reason for employing the best and most expert that might successively arrive, in constructing buildings that had not been approved by your Lordship; or for inducing you to sanction the continuance of a system, productive of so much expense to the crown, and so much real injury to the colony. Most of the settlers had been so convinced of the impossibility of obtaining mechanics, from repeated refusals and disappointments, that they ceased to make application to Governor Macquarrie, and, for reasons that have been stated before, would not apply to the superintendent multiplied with the buildings that were undertaken, they abandoned all hope of obtaining them. Two consequences have followed from this system, the enhancement of the price of the free labour of mechanics to the settlers in the colony, and the prejudicial practice, to which they have been obliged to conform, of paying these labourers in advance, and of complying with their extravagant and capricious demands or postponing, indefinitely, undertakings of great immediate and general importance. Independently of these obvious consequences of the system, it is clear that every practicable facility that was afforded to the settlers in New South Wales for obtaining useful labourers, that did not weaken the general control over the convicts, and that by diminishing the cost of labour to the settlers, augmented their means of employing them, operated as so much saving to government in the expense of their subsistence; and if, by a judicious and more liberal distribution of the useful and expert convicts, many of those that were inexpert could have been assigned e and subsisted free of expense, it was surely a more rational and more economical mode of employment than monopolizing all the useful convicts, subsiding them at a the expense of government, and forcing, as it were, upon the settlers a mass of useless and expensive labourers from whom they were at all times desirous of relieving themselves.

I am well aware that part of the merits of this question will depend upon the greater or less degree of necessity that existed for the public buildings that have been erected in New South Wales, and as that subject will be considered hereafter, I only now wish to draw your Lordship's attention to the reason of necessity alleged by Governor Macquarrie for obtaining your sanction to the past and future employment of the convicts in the government works at Sydney; and I trust, that I have now enlarged sufficiently upon the nature and effect of that employment, to convince your Lordship, that instead of being useful to the convicts themselves, as Governor Macquarrie contends in his letter to your Lordship, it has a tendency that is directly the reverse.

Having made these observations upon the nature and effect of the employment of the convicts in government work, I proceed to describe the superintendence under which it is conducted.

Superintendence of Convicts in the service of Government.

THE superintendence of the government convicts in New South Wales is generally considered to be vested in the person of William Hutchinson, who has filled the situation of principal superintendent of convicts at Sydney since the 9th of April 1814. The previous condition of this individual is described in the evidence of Mr. Harris. During the period in which he served as a convict at Sydney, he had charge of a small gang of convicts employed about the town; but having been accused of being accessary to the theft of a bale of slops from the king's stores, that were found in his possession, he was tried and sent to Norfolk Island, where he conducted himself well as superintendent of convicts, and was recommended by Lieutenant-colonel Foveaux to Governor Macquarrie on his arrival. By his industry in Norfolk Island he acquired property, which, like many other persons in that settlement, he found the means of greatly improving by trade, and by selling considerable quantities of pork to government. In the notification of his appointment in the Sydney Gazette, a very elaborate enumeration of his former services and merits, as well as those of his predecessor Nicholls, was made by Governor Macquarrie, who has lost no opportunities since that period of publicly testifying, through the same channel, the sense he entertained of his merits and integrity.

The salary of 75l. per annum, received by this individual as principal superintendent, has been paid for several years from the parliamentary grant, and until the 1st January 1820. Although the designation of the sum of 100l. per annum, voted by parliament during this period, was always very clearly expressed to have been in favour of a principal superintendent of convicts, and not in favour of the principal superintendent of government stock, who had always received it; and although Governor Macquarrie's sense of Mr. Hutchinson's merits, as well as his extended extended duties, had led him to propose to your Lordship a more exceptionable mode of rewarding him, by appointing him to the situation of wharfinger, the duties of which he filled by deputy, it was not till the 1st of January 1820 that the misappropriation of the salary of 100l. was discovered, and by an order then issued it was rectified.

The office of the principal superintendent of convicts is in the lumber-yard at Sydney, and two convict clerks are constantly employed there, in keeping the books and making entries, copying returns of labour, writing orders for the signature of the superintendent, numerical and nominal lists of the gangs of workmen and labourers, and in receiving the applications of individuals for convicts.

The nature and contents of these books are described in the Appendix of Documents. The principal book is that which contains the particulars of the arrivals of convicts in the colony. Previous to the appointment of William Hutchinson these books were very irregularly kept, and to the present period they are deficient in affording means of reference to any convict who has been some time in the colony; led except from the name of the ship by which he arrived: the names of the convicts in each ship are alphabetically arranged; but unless the ship is known, their names at and particulars cannot be ascertained.

The first distribution that is made of the convicts at Sydney, or to individuals in the country, on their own application, and to the different districts, is inserted in the book of arrivals, but no return is made to the principal superintendent of the distribution of the latter by the magistrates in the country, or is any note made of the subsequent changes that take place in the condition of any, either by removal, death, or punishment. The book of arrivals likewise comprehends all the particulars that are detailed in the muster taken by Mr. Campbell, that has been before adverted to, including the same results of the inquiries into the treatment of the prisoners during their passage, as were found in that document.

The superintendence of William Hutchinson, therefore, is local, and confined to Sydney and the stations lately established between that town and Paramatta.

The superintendents of convicts at Paramatta, Windsor, and Emu Plains, make weekly returns of the convicts under their charge, but do not make any regular or alphabetical register of the changes or transfers of them, so as to afford the means of pursuing the history, conduct, and condition of a convict in his various situations in the colony, from his arrival to his emancipation or death.

No correspondence appears to be maintained between the magistrates of the colony and the principal superintendent; and their reluctance to engage in it, arises, in some degree, from a desire to preserve entire in their own hands, all control over the convicts in their several districts, as well as to avoid all intercourse with, or acknowledgment of superiority in an individual, who in the memory of most of them, was in the condition of a convict, and whose language, conversation, and and deportment, make the contrast of that condition, with his present prosperity of and his extensive patronage, still more prominent and disadvantageous.

It will have been observed, that several of the duties performed by the principal superintendent of convicts, partake of those that more regularly appertain to the office of chief engineer. This circumstance has arisen in a great measure from the extension of the duties of that officer, during the last two years, as well as from the perfect cordiality that has always subsisted between them; Major Druitt never having felt any repugnance to intercourse with the class of persons to whom the its principal superintendent belongs, that has been, from causes that will be explained in hereafter, the disturbing principle of social and official intercourse in the colony of New South Wales, ever since the early periods of the administration of Governor Macquarrie. In the performance of these duties, the superintendent of convicts may be said to attend more particularly to their distribution and management, and to the detection of their offences; the chief engineer, to their employment, labour and punishment. In both I have observed, that there is more of activity than method; and towards the convicts that propensity to violence of language and abuse, that insensibly becomes a habit in those to whom the irksome task is committed, of enforcing compulsory labour, or wholesome restraint, against refractory or vicious men. Both of these officers have the power of recommending and selecting individuals for the situation of overseers to the different gangs at Sydney and on the roads; they are selected either on account of their long services or particular skill and merits.

At the Sydney station, and on the roads, the number of superintendents and overseers amounted to 77, of whom only 26 were free and 51 were convicts. At Paramatta, and the roads adjoining, the number amounted to 13, of whom five were free and eight were convicts. At Liverpool they amounted to five, of whom one was free and four were convicts. At Emu Plains to seven, of whom three were free and four were convicts. At Windsor to three, of whom one was free and two were convicts. At Bathurst to two, who were both free, making a total of 107, of whom 38 were free and 69 were convicts. To this number may be added, nine clerks, who are all convicts, and who are employed at the different stations in the a offices of the superintendents.

By the return made in December 1820, these numbers remained very nearly the same as in the preceding year.

The particular mode of their remuneration is described in the Documents, and it appears at the last mentioned period, that the salaries of 19 of the principal overseers in New South Wales, exclusive of those employed at the factory at Paramatta and Newcastle, amounted to 250l. charged in the parliamentary estimates, and to a the sum of 546l. 5s. charged and paid from the police fund of New South Wales. This, however, is not the only species of remuneration; for to most of the principal overseers, and to all the subordinate ones, are assigned mechanics, tradesmen and labourers, amounting altogether to 108, whose weekly ration, or whose weekly to stipend, or sometimes both, are drawn in payment of the overseers; and 25 are assigned off the store, and their earnings, or the gains they make in pursuing occupations lawful or unlawful, constitute the remuneration to their principals. To some of the overseers, who are married and have children, an allowance of one-half or one-fourth of a ration is made; and this allowance at the different stations in New South Wales, amounted, in the month of August 1820, to 36 daily rations and two-thirds. At Hobart Town, in consequence of the advanced age of the person who has for some time filled the situation of superintendent of convicts, and by the strong and just sense entertained by Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, Of the importance of personally watching over the distribution of them, that duty has remained exclusively in his hands. Fortunately, moreover, for the public service, the auxiliary part that regards the changes which take place in the removal of the convicts from their several gangs, either on account of their sickness or punishment, or their return to the labour of government, or to that of individuals, has been performed by the acting engineer, Major Bell, or the magistrate of police, Mr. Humphrey. The want of stationery has alone interfered with the regular performance of these elutes in the office of the acting engineer, and a reference to the documents in the Appendix, furnished from the office of Mr. Humphrey, as well as the return of offences committed by convicts in the county of Buckingham, in Van Dieman's Land, in which their several conditions are very accurately described, amply testify the means and facilities possessed by these officers of tracing the history and conduct of any convict that lands in that part of the colony from the first day of his arrival to every place of labour to which he may have been sent during his period of service.

The great advantage derived from the connected jurisdiction of these officers, is the constant knowledge of the employment and conduct of the convicts that it affords to those through whom the applications for mitigation of punishment are eventually to proceed.

The only point in which a change appeared to me desirable, would be the transmission of the passes granted by the chief engineer to the government convicts on Sundays, to the magistrate of the police. He is always made acquainted with their removal from the service of government to that of individuals in the town or country, and equally so with their return to it; and although it is fit that the chief engineer should have the over that he now exercises, of punting the passes, yet it is quite as important, that the temporary destination of convicts receiving them should be immediately communicated to the police, and be then subject to all the rules that are observed in regulating the movements of other convicts in the country.

At Hobart Town there are two superintendents of convicts, Crowder and Lakeland, both of them receiving 50l. per annum from the Parliamentary grant, and the last receives 25l. per annum from the police fund, as assistant inspector of the works. Read, the superintendent of carpenters, receives a salary of 50l. and there is also an overseer under him, an overseer of the town gang, and one of the lime-burners, each of whom receives a salary of 25l. per annum from the police fund of Van Dieman's Land.

In addition to these, 22 overseers of working gangs were employed on the 24th of March 1820, each receiving a ration and a half, four having their families victualled, amounting in the whole to two full rations, and fifteen of them having an allowance of a single ration for a government man assigned to them. Of these 22 overseers, two only are free. On the 19th December 1820, a superintendent was appointed to a new road party, who with his allowances and those to two government men assigned, made an augmentation of three daily rations and a half; giving a total of 53 daily rations and a half for the remuneration of superintendents of work at this station.

At George Town and Launceston, at the same date, there was an inspector of works receiving an annual salary of 91l. 5s. from the police fund. Two superintendents, Boothmen and Sides, receiving salaries of 50l. each from the parliamentary grant; a superintendent of carpenters, J. Moulds, who received a salary of 50l. per annum from the police fund; G. Hubbard, superintendent of boat builders, receiving the same sum; with two overseers, Ogilvie and Blackball, each of whom received salaries of 25l. per annum; making a total of 341l. 5s. of which 100l. was paid from the parliamentary grant, and the remainder from the police fund of Van Dieman's Land. In addition to these, 11 convict overseers were employed, one of whom received an allowance of two men victualled from the store, and two others received allowances of one-half rations for their wives, and one-fourth for their children, making a total of 36 rations and a half, as remuneration to superintendents at this station.

The difficulty of finding fit persons to discharge the duty of superintendents and overseers in the colony, seems to have increased with the number of the convicts, and the complexity of their occupations. At the period in which they were employed under Mr. It. Fitzgerald, in the years 1792 and 1793, at the establishment of Castle Hill and Toongabbee, many circumstances concurred, both in his condition and theirs, to stimulate their exertions and to combine the interest of the superintendent with those of government. The most prominent of these circumstances were the scarcity of food that prevailed at that time; the universal demand for labour that existed, not only on the part of government, but of individuals to whom convict labourers were then very sparingly assigned, and the desire that was naturally felt by the superintendent to recommend himself to his employers, by a faithful and zealous discharge of his duty to government; a desire that was then unimpeded by any views of his own. The demand for labour was accompanied by severity in punishing all neglect of it in the convicts; and this severity was not retarded by the difficulties that now attend the investigation of complaints of masters against servants. Punishments at that period were more summary, and infinitely more severe, than they are at present.

The agricultural operations, although limited to the use of the hatchet and the hoc, admitted both the employment of the most unpractised labourers, as well as an exact and severe apportionment of their labour to their skill and strength. The labour of government was not at that time the labour that the convicts preferred. It was conducted at two places not then in the immediate neighbourhood of any settlers, and one of these places was distant three, and the other five miles, from the town of Paramatta, and neither were infected by the luxurious dissipation of that place, or by the temptations to plunder, that the increasing opulence and property of the settlers has since afforded.

The species of labour likewise, in which they were instructed, was one that was in general use and demand; and when a convict was assigned to a settler from the government works, he was not, as at present, an useless incumbrance or expense, but he was capable of immediately affording some return by his labour, for the subsistence and clothing that was furnished to him. The superintendents themselves were, from circumstances of the moment, equally interested in augmenting the produce of the government labour; and they did not then, as many of them do at present, possess an interest that lies exactly the other way.

Considering the important and responsible nature of the duties performed by the superintendents and overseers of convicts of the different stations, it would have been very desirable, both to have improved their character, in some instances to have increased their number, and in every one, to have altered the mode of their remuneration.

The power of assigning convict servants, upon their arrival, and the means that are possessed by the superintendent of exercising that power to the advantage or to the prejudice of individuals in New South Wales, is one, the importance of which seems to me never to have been sufficiently appreciated by Governor Macquarrie; and the manner in which the superintendent Hutchinson regarded it, and spoke of it to me, proved to me at once that he considered it rather in the light of patronage than of duty.

This subject will be more enlarged upon when the employment of convicts by settlers is considered at present, and as far as it regards the principal superintendent, it certainly appeared to me, that the possession of such patronage by an individual who was once in the degraded condition of a convict, more than the Unwarrantable or corrupt use of it, was the cause of the many complaints that were urged against him, from the earliest period of my arrival in the colony to the latest hour that I remained in it. It is truly stated by the superintendent, that he is liable to be much mistaken in the qualifications of the convicts that he assigns to the settlers on their first arrival; and that the disappointments experienced in them are not in fairness to be imputed to a wilful misapprehension of their capacities, for the purpose of defeating the interests of the settlers and serving his own. It frequently happens, that the desire of the convicts to return to Sidney, after a short experience of the service of the settlers, leads them to conceal their qualifications and skill, and to create some cause of dissatisfaction to their master, which terminates in their dismissal.

The number of mechanics and tradesmen that have arrived, and have been assigned to individuals, from the year 1814 to the year 1820 is exhibited in the Appendix; and taking the number of those who are considered most useful, it appears that 15 blacksmiths out of 284; 16 carpenters and wheelrights out of 337; 8 sawyers out of 15; and five bricklayers and brickmakers out of 284 that have arrived, have been assigned during this period from convict ships on their arrival; and 21 carpenters and wheelwrights, five sawyers, seven bricklayers and brickmakers, and six blacksmiths, have been assigned and lent from government works at Sydney, during the same period.

Amongst the number of carpenters last described are five who were allowed under an agreement to the persons who contracted to build the Paramatta factory. The assignment of the mechanics is made only upon the governor's order; but the selection of them depends upon the good will of the chief engineer and the superintendent of convicts. The governor's orders to them for assigning mechanics are generally accompanied with a provision, "that they are not wanted for government works or can be spared from them"; and the discretion that these terms imply is sufficiently comprehensive to afford to the chief engineer and principal superintendent, a ready and perpetual ground of denial to persons whom they may not wish to favour. Individuals, therefore, who have received the governor's order, and sometimes his promise of mechanics, have been frequently much surprised that they have not been attended to; and considering the desire that has been, shown by the chief engineer to carry on the different works with rapidity, and the insensibility to the benefits that the colony might have derived from a more liberal participation in the large portion of mechanical labour and skill, that in the period of seven years has been consigned to it from England, I am not surprised that there should have existed such a general dissatisfaction in the measure as well as in the mode of his refusal. One instance occurred, in which I had an opportunity of observing the want of discrimination that prevails in the distribution of the convicts at Sydney, and the insensibility to the advantages of placing convicts of previous good character and conduct in situations of a certain degree of responsibility.

Mr. Bowman, the principal surgeon, soon after his arrival, and early in the year 1820, was desirous of obtaining five men as attendants at the general hospital, that had been recommended to him by Mr. Cunningham, surgeon of the Recovery convict ship, and whose conduct during the passage he had full opportunities of observing.

Several bad characters with whom the superintendent Hutchinson was or ought to have been well acquainted (for I found them to be described as such in his book of arrivals), had been sent to the general hospital at the end of the preceding year, and as many of them had either been dismissed or punished, Mr. Bowman was desirous of replacing them, with men of a better description, before the approach of the sickly season in the months of February and March. He accordingly applied for the five men that had been so recommended, but was informed by Governor Macquarrie that as they were all farming, or good country labouring men, they were reserved for such employments.

Upon inquiry it was found that the governor had been misinformed; that three out of the five were seafaring men, one was a coachman, and one a servant, and when this explanation was afforded to him, the governor ordered two of the men to be sent to the hospital according to Mr. Bowman's request. A subsequent application of this officer to the principal superintendent for four men, who had arrived by the convict ship Eliza, and had been recommended by Mr. Bryden the surgeon, as fit for employment in the hospitals, was rejected at the muster of the convicts, in the gaol yard at Sydney, in consequence of the suggestion of the principal superintendent to Lieutenant-governor Erskine, who during the indisposition of Governor Macquarrie took the muster, and who, without inquiry respecting the qualifications or previous situations of the men, gave an order that they should be retained until of the governor's pleasure should be known.

Being present at the muster, I had an opportunity of observing the indecorous in manner in which the principal superintendent treated the application that had been made by the principal surgeon, and the implicit reliance that was placed on his suggestion. The men in question were not sent, and although they were healthy and; robust, they had not been agricultural labourers.

These instances are adduced for the purpose of showing the great power possessed; by the chief engineer and the principal superintendent in the distribution of convicts, and the facility with which it may be perverted even to the injury of the colonial service.

I do not impute to these officers a direct intention of producing that effect in the instances alluded to, but I certainly think that their opposition to Mr. Bowman's requests was attended with it, and that in this respect, as well as in the application of the labour and assistance of government, they were influenced by a feeling of personal hostility to this gentleman, and that in indulging it the public interests were sacrificed. A dispute had arisen between them at an early period after Mr. Bowman succeeded to the situation of principal surgeon, in October 1819, which originated in the reluctance he expressed to allow his assistant surgeons to attend the be punishment of the convicts, whenever they should be required so to do, without reference to their duty in the hospital, and without due notice. This reluctance on the part of the principal surgeon was met by an equal reluctance on the part of the chief engineer and the principal superintendent, either to forward the repairs and alterations that were found necessary in the general hospital, or to assign such convicts as could best be trusted in attendance upon the sick. A return has been made to me, describing the nature and extent of the repairs that have been made in the hospital at Sydney during the period of the dispute, together with Mr. Bowman's requisitions, and annexed to it is the correspondence that took place between Governor Macquarrie and Mr. Bowman respecting it. Much of the merits of the case depend upon the relative importance of the assistance and attendance required at the hospital, and of the work that was going on at other places in Sydney at the same time. Now, on reference to the requisitions of Mr. Bowman, it will appear that they were very trifling in extent, compared with the benefit that was to be derived to the hospital from an immediate attention to them; and it is equally clear, that no work was then in progress at Sydney that could enter into any comparison, in point of importance, with the relief to the medical establishment that these repairs were capable of conveying; and that they occasioned no sacrifice of government labour which the extensive scale upon which it was then conducted could not easily bear.

Governor Macquarrie, it appears, had given orders for making some of them, and it is equally true that the execution of many of these orders had been delayed; and at last the applications of Mr. Bowman were so often repeated, and became so irksome to the governor, that he requested them only to be addressed to him on the first Monday in each month; a course of proceeding, by which it is obvious that much of the benefit arising to the general hospital from immediate repairs would be lost.

The most serious charge that was made by Mr. Bowman, against Major Druitt, consisted in his refusal to send some additional labourers, for the purpose of assisting to fetch water when it became scarce, and when the hospital was crowded with sick. This charge was not proved, as it did not appear that any written requisition had been made by Mr. Bowman for such assistance, or that he had pursued the same course of application for it to Governor Macquarrie to which he had been in the habit of resorting upon these occasions. The justification, however, that has been attempted by Major Druitt, of his refusal, in case it had occurred, explains the nature of the authority, as well as reasoning, that he would have opposed to the requisitions of the principal surgeon and strongly manifests the unwillingness always evinced by this officer to afford facilities to any other branch of the public service than to those with which he had a local and personal connection.

With respect to the other superintendents and overseers in the service of government, it appeared to me that the higher classes were too much occupied by interests of their own to attend to the labour of those under them; and that the inferior classes neither possessed sufficient courage or integrity to compel the convicts to work, or sufficient skill to direct them.

The difficulty of obtaining competent persons for the performance of these duties, either from the free or convict classes in New South Wales, has been felt at all times, and is acknowledged both by the chief engineer at Sydney and the acting engineer at Hobart Town. The temptation of high profits on mechanical labour in the colony have always operated against the voluntary service of convicts as overseers, after the period of their compulsory service had ceased; and it has been found necessary, to induce them to remain in the situation after they had received emancipations, or, tickets of leave, by promises of grants of land, by small pecuniary salaries, payable from the police fund, and latterly, by allowing them to contact with government for the erection of certain buildings; in which, though an advantage is gained to government, by a reduction of the price of the work, there is also a disadvantage in the loss of the overseer's attention to his gang of workmen, which he naturally transfers from thence to the work that is done under his own contract. This circumstance was observable in a contract made for the construction of a poor-house near Sydney, and for that of a wall, inclosing 12 acres of ground, for the convict garden, on one side of Hyde Park.

The elevation of the poor-house was drawn by Lawless, an overseer of bricklayers, and an estimate of the expense having been approved of by Governor Macquarrie, the work was undertaken by Lawless and another overseer; government finding all the materials, including the cutting of the stone. The amount of the labour was paid from the police fund; and the only cost to the contractors was that of the labour of bricklayer's, and superintendence of the work. The assignment to these overseers of government men, who are good bricklayers, provides them with one part of the labour, and they derive the remainder from the employment of convicts that are enabled to work on Saturdays, or are indulged with a portion of government time for their own benefit.

In the construction of the wall, an advertisement was inserted in the Sydney Gazette for tenders, and the lowest tender made was at the rate of 8l. per rod, the contractor furnishing every thing; the price at which the same work was undertaken by the two overseers was 2l. per rod, all the materials being found by the government.

Several convicts, whose work it would have been the duty of these overseers to have superintended, were employed at both places; but there were a great many, nevertheless, that were employed elsewhere, in whose work they had no interest, and to whom they could not devote any portion of their attention. In their absence the duty of superintendence devolves upon an overseer of an inferior class, for whose integrity integrity in enforcing labour and regular attendance there is no other security than the treachery of the convicts employed under him, and the chance of their informing against him.

It is the opinion of Major Bell, the acting engineer at Hobart Town, and of Lieutenant Vandermeulen, acting engineer of George Town, that a convict overseer dares not inform against any of his men for misconduct, and that such a proof of his integrity, or an exertion of his authority, would be visited by the enmity of the whole of his gang; to a certain degree that is true; but, on the other hand, it must be observed that many of the convicts, both at Hobart Town and in New South Wales, have been punished on the information of the overseers alone; many also for insolence towards them, and a few for resistance. The manner in which the overseers are remunerated in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, has appeared to every one, capable of forming a judgment of its effects, to be highly objectionable; it consists in the allowance of a ration and a half, and the assignment of or more convicts, who are in most cases victualled by government, and who in return for the exemption that is allowed to them from all control, and the pursuit of any occupation, engage to pay their overseer a sum amounting to 5s. per week, if they allow the overseer to draw their ration, and 10s. in case they draw it themselves.

The effects produced by this arrangement on the convicts at their first distribution, have already been observed, and in its continuance is no less injurious to the system of discipline than to the parties whom it is intended to remunerate. The condition of the assigned convict becomes equal to that of one holding a ticket of leave; and although a convict, he becomes in many instances responsible to a person who is in no higher condition than himself, many of the overseers being themselves convicts. The selection of the assigned convicts being left principally to the overseer, it is made with reference to the means of payment possessed by them, and not to their characters or conduct; hence it has happened that the most guilty individuals have enjoyed all the privileges that were declared to belong exclusively to good conduct, and that they have purchased them with money instead of gaining them by long servitude.

The majority of the assigned convicts consist of tradesmen, who are enabled by their industry to fulfil their engagement to their overseer as long as their labour is in demand; and they are protected from arrest by being furnished with passes, signed by the superintendent, as a special protection in the districts to which they may resort; but if the demand for their labour or their industry should fail, or what more frequently occurs, if the profits they may derive from it be spent in luxury and excess, the weekly payment to the overseer falls into arrear, and he is compelled to apply either to the magistrate for punishment, or to the principal superintendent for the assignment of another convict; again, if the employer of the assigned convict fails in paying his wages, the overseer is not only a loser, but the convict is returned to the service of government, by which a certain degree of punishment is inflicted upon hint for the default of another.

The only objection that was made by Governor Macquarrie to put a stop to this species of remuneration, was the expense that would be incurred by the substitution of payments in money from the police fund, for the extra hall ration allowed to most of the overseers, and for the stipendiary payment which they are supposed to receive from the government men assigned to them. The number of superintendents and overseers in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, remunerated in this way, consist of 142, of whom 42 were free, and 100 were convicts; the number of convicts assigned to those in New South Wales amounted, in the month of December 1820, to 85, and in the month of March of that year, it amounted, at Hobart Town to 22, and at George Town to 11; making a total of 118 assigned convicts victualled from the public store. The value of their weekly ration, consisting of seven pounds of meat and seven pounds of flour per man (which, at the government price paid for these articles, and amounting to the sum of 4s. 8d. per man per week), would amount to a yearly sum of 1,431l. 14s. 8d. and the extra half ration allowed to the overseers themselves amounting to 861l. 9s. 4d. makes a total expense to the Crown of 2,293 l. 4s. 0d. for remuneration to superintendents and overseers in the shape of subsistence only. Assuming that the weekly payment of 10s. by each assigned convict to his overseer was regularly made, the annual amount of it would (for 118 convicts so assigned) be 3,068l. of which one-fourth, or 767l. would have been chargeable to the police fund of Van Dieman's Land, and the remainder, or 2,301l. would have been chargeable to the police fund of New South Wales.

Considering the extended scale upon which the works were conducted at Sydney and in Van Themes Land, it did not appear to me to be practicable to reduce the number of overseers or superintendents, without very much improving their character and efficiency; and as I found that competent persons of that description could not be procured in the colony, my recommendation to Governor Macquarrie was limited to the substitution of a money payment, instead of an assignment of one or more government men to them.

In this recommendation I was as much prompted by the opinions I had received of the bad effects of the existing system, and of the satisfaction with which the overseers themselves would view a change in it, as by the urgent necessity that existed in the colony of reducing, as much as possible, the expenditure of meat: it might have been urged, that the simple curtailment of the issue of that article to convicts, who when not assigned to the overseers must necessarily derive their subsistence from some other supply of meat within the colony, would not bring any immediate or general relief in that respect. My recommendation, however, embraced two objects, that of relieving the British treasury from a charge, to which I conceived that the colonial revenue was at that time competent, and which, if competent, it ought to bear; and by converting the extra half ration allowed to the overseers themselves into a money payment, or into an allowance of other articles, such as tea and sugar, instead of meat; to produce a saving of 70 rations or pounds of meat per day to this class of persons alone, in the general expenditure of meat in the colony there would then have remained only the subsistence of the convicts assigned to the overseers.

From the individuals composing this class, the majority of them would have found employment amongst the settlers or the master workmen in the town of Sydney, and their subsistence in those situations by their employers would have at once relieved the British treasury from the cost of their maintenance, and would have occasioned some economy in the general consumption of fresh meat. Governor Macquarrie immediately acceded to that part of my recommendation that substituted a different species of ration for the extra allowance hitherto issued to the superintendents and overseers, and equally extended it to all other functionaries who had been paid in the same manner but deferred the adoption of that which substituted the money payment in the room of the assigned convicts, from an unwillingness to create too heavy a pressure upon the colonial treasury. I felt it my duty, however, to renew the recommendation on my departure from the colony, and the governor gave me reason to believe that he would adopt it.

Subsistence and Clothing of the Convicts retained by Government and Employment of Female Convicts.

THE expense of the clothing and subsistence of the convicts in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, constitutes the largest proportion of the general expenses of the colony. Some contribution towards this expense is made from the labour of the female convicts that are employed in the Paramatta factory and since the last general issue, directed to be made in the month of August, of the year 1818, the demand for clothing had so much increased, and so small a portion had been received from England, that an extra quantity of labour was given to the female convicts, and they received payment for it from the police fund. It was with great difficulty that the supply of clothing for the convicts in the employ of government could be provided for. Those at George Town, in Van Dieman's Land, were suffering severely from want of it in the commencement of the winter of 1820 and a great arrear continued due to the convicts that had been assigned to settlers on receiving grants of land in New South Wales at the end of that year, with the single exception of those assigned to Lieutenant-governor Erskine, in his capacity of settler. Independent of these causes, it frequently occurred that convicts were returned to government employment by the settlers, so destitute of clothing, that it became absolutely necessary to furnish them with a certain portion, which generally consisted of half-worn clothes left by convicts who were assigned from the government gangs, and who were allowed to take only one full suit with them, in consequence of their improper disposal or use of any larger quantity.

On the arrival of every convict in New South Wales, a suit of clothing is given to him, consisting of a coarse woollen jacket, and waistcoat of yellow or grey cloth, a pair of duck trowsers, a pair of worsted stockings, a pair of shoes, two cotton or linen shirts, a neckhandkerchief, and a woollen cap or hat. A singular exception was made to this issue during my residence in Van Dieman's Land, in consequence of the scarcity of government clothing. The convicts that had been sent out in the Prince Regent transport from Ireland, had been remarkable for the care they had taken of their clothing; and as it consisted of the grey cloth of that country, it was found to be stronger and more durable than any other. Upon the debarkation of these convicts, their spare clothing was taken away and sent to George Town, where it certainly was more urgently required; but the effect that this surrender produced urn their dispositions was very unfavourable, in their reluctance to labour, and their wilful destruction of the clothes they had procured. A similar deprivation of their new slop-clothing took place on the arrival of the Dromedary store ship, and the debarkation of the greatest number of the convicts at Hobart Town.

The issue of clothing to the government convicts ought regularly to be made to them every six months. It consists of a woollen jacket or frock, and trowsers of the colonial manufacture, a pair of shoes, and a linen shirt, made up in the lumber yard at Sydney. The convicts that are exposed to harder labour in the quarries, and the carters and bullock drivers, each receive a pair of shoes every three months. The summer clothing to the convicts in the barracks, consists of a canvas smock frock, one linen or cotton shirt, two pair of trowsers, (one of which ought to be reserved for use on Sundays) one pair of shoes, and one cap. Until the end of the year 1820, these supplies were furnished from the old canvas and sheeting that were found in the commissariat stores, and that had remained there for several years. The convicts out of barrack have had no regular slop-clothing issued to them for two years; but their allowance differs in no respect from that of the convicts in the barrack.

The chief engineer is of opinion that some loss is occasioned in the issue of clothing to the convicts when made up, and that it would be better to issue it as it is wanted, and according to the size of the wearer, than to adhere to the present practice of a general issue to the convicts of every ship on their arrival, which, when made at one and the same time, is followed by absolute loss, or a disposal of it for money, which the convicts lay out in the purchase of spirits. A regulation of that kind would certainly be useful; but according to the present scale of employment of the government convicts, it would require a much more accurate account of the issues of clothing than is now kept in the convict barrack at Sydney; and it would also occasion a more entire separation of the tradesmen employed in making it up from the other mechanics in the lumber yard, than that which its present limits would allow.

The largest portion of the clothing for the convicts, that has, for the last few years, been sent with them for distribution on arrival, consisted of a coarse yellow cloth; it is not so strong as the grey cloth worn by the convicts, and brought with them from Ireland; but it possesses the advantage of being conspicuous, which the other does not, and of exhibiting more distinctly the marks that may be put upon it. It is observed by the chief engineer, that the issue of coarse woollen stockings to the convicts is an expense that might well be spared; and this observation is confirmed by the general practice of the labouring classes of the colony of New South Wales, who rarely or ever make use of them. The expense also of issuing waist-coats to the convicts destined for New South Wales is unnecessary, as they rarely rat make use of them, and they only afford the means of procuring spirituous liquors. The difference between the climate of Van Dieman's Land and New South Wales will not admit of the reduction of those articles from the dress of the convicts at transported thither.

Much inconvenience and some expense has been incurred lately, by an occasional change that has been made of the ordinary yellow clothing, for uniforms of certain foreign corps, which, probably from reasons of economy, were converted to this purpose, and applied to the use of the convicts on their arrival in New South Wales. These uniforms consisted of blue and red cloth jackets and waistcoats, with a military button, and they so much resembled the regimental undress uniforms of the army, that on the application of the chief engineer, they were dyed before they were issued to the convicts. The black military caps that accompanied these uniforms, were considered to be equally unfit for the use of the convicts in a place where it was important to preserve every external mark that might serve to distinguish them, and to obliterate every mark that might tend to confound them with the military; the caps were therefore reduced into the shape of common hats before they were issued, and the expense was defrayed from the police fund.

The management of the clothing of the convicts was voluntarily undertaken by the chief engineer, at the desire of Governor Macquarrie, and an account of the issues is kept at the convict barrack. A return of the clothing issued from the month of June in the year 1819 to 31st of August 1820, and from that time to the 24th of January 1821, is to be found in the Appendix; it is signed by Major Druitt, the chief engineer, but the recapitulations are in many places incorrectly stated. An account of clothing issued from the lumber yard at Sydney, has been kept by the present storekeeper, since the month of December 1819. It had been previously kept in a very clean and distinct manner by William Noah, an emancipated convict, who at the end of the year 1819 received a pension of 20l. per annum for his services in the office of storekeeper. The principle that has prevailed in the distribution of the slop-clothing and bedding, has been that of affording a supply in the first instance, to the road parties and to the workmen who were most exposed, and of allowing a very sparing supply to the settlements in Van Dieman's Land; this last principle appeared to me to be indefensible, when viewed either with reference to the comparative value of the services of the convicts in those settlements, or to the greater necessity for good and regular clothing that exists in a cold than in a mild temperature. At the suggestion of Major Druitt, the terms upon which the wool had been manufactured into cloth at the Paramatta factory have undergone some change. It was the custom, until the year 1819, to receive five pounds of wool from the settlers who received in exchange one yard of cloth, as it was calculated that four pounds of wool would, when manufactured, give that quantity of cloth. The surplus of one pounce of wool was considered as a remuneration to government for the expense of manufacture; and when made into cloth, was sent to the commissariat stores, to be issued when required. Since the period above mentioned, coarse wool has been purchased from the settlers by the chief engineer at Sydney, and the acting engineer at Hobart Town, and it has been sent to Paramatta, and manufactured there in the factory. Since the period in which the first purchases of wool were made, the price rose from 5d. and 6d. to 10d. per pound, and towards the end of the year 1820, none of the inferior quality could be procured in New South Wales at that price; it was therefore purchased and transmitted from Van Dieman's Land. The calculation of the cost of two suits of slops, made of the cloth manufactured at Paramatta, of which a specimen is contained in the case No. 22, and further comprising four pair of shoes and two caps, made in the colony, makes it amount to 3l. 2s. per annum. To this amount is to be added the cost of two shirts, not included in the calculation, but estimated at 12s.; a bed and bedding, consisting of two rugs, and amounting to 2l. 15s.; giving a total annual expense of 6l. 9s. for the clothing and bedding of each convict.

In consequence of the scarcity of clothing that I observed generally throughout the government establishments, I had frequently recommended to Governor Macquarrie to purchase cloth from the manufactory of Mr. Lord at Sydney, and more especially for the purpose of completing the issue of slop-clothing to the constables of the different districts, which had been for some time greatly in arrears The objection of Governor Macquarrie to adopt this recommendation always proceeded from the heavy expense that it would occasion to the police fund, and the expectation of receiving early supplies from England. This expectation was not realized until the end of the year 1820, when a part of the suits only arrived, and a regular and entire issue was not practicable.

By the 4th and 5th regulations relative to the convict barrack, dated in May 1819, the care and management of the clothes and linen of the convicts was assigned to the deputy superintendent of that establishment, but from want of attention to this part of his duty, and from want of sufficient room for storing the linen after it was washed, and lastly, from the perpetual loss and wilful destruction of the clothing by the convicts themselves, very little benefit had been derived from these regulations. The appearance of the convicts on Sundays did not mark any want or personal cleanliness, but their dress showed an entire neglect of it. In this observation, however, I should not include the convicts of the carters barrack, where there always prevailed a greater degree of attention to cleanliness and order than in any other establishment; nor to the principal part of the convicts who were not in barracks. Their general appearance at the muster before the church doors at Sydney and Paramatta was cleanly and decent. The hammocks and bedding in the convict barrack, as well as the sleeping rooms, were kept in a very clean state; and although there was no regular allowance of soap made to the convicts, yet sufficient was issued to them for ordinary purposes; to water troughs and towels were always kept in readiness in the mornings before they went to their work, and bathers were attached to the barrack, who were made to shave the convicts regularly twice a week. At Hobart Town, at the muster of the convicts on Sundays, I observed a greater variety of dress; and as there existed no order for obliging the convicts to appear in that which is issued on their arrival, those who can afford it purchase ordinary apparel, or wear that which they bring out with them. This distinction appeared to me to prevail chiefly amongst the convicts transported for forgery, and for uttering forged notes, and it has given rise to the use of a term that is applied in derision to all such convicts as can afford, or are permitted to wear their own coats, instead of the short jackets provided by government.

At George Town the want of clothing has already been observed upon; by the evidence of Lieutenant Vandermeulen, it appears to have prevailed to such a degree as to have diminished the quantity of work, although it did not affect the health of the convicts. At the period of my visit to George Town in the month of April 1820, 50 convicts, out of those who were mustered on a Sunday morning, were without shoes, and 27 were without jackets.

The weekly rations issued to the convicts employed by government have undergone many variations since the arrival of Governor Macquarrie in New South Wales. On the 21st of January of the year 1810, an order was made for 11½ lbs. of wheat, 7 lbs. of beef, or 4 lbs. of pork, 6 oz. of sugar, or 1 lb. of wheat, or 2 lbs. of maize. In the month of March of that year, an alteration was made in the quantity of wheat to settlers, free persons and prisoners, and 6 lbs. of wheat and 13 lbs. of maize were issued. In the month of January 1814, the same ration was reduced to 6 lbs. of bread, 1½ lb. of sugar, and 1 lb. of rice. In July of that year it was increased to 7 lbs. of bread, 1½ lb. of sugar, and half a pound of rice and in the month of September this ration of bread was ordered to be composed of one-third of Indian corn meal. In the month of March 1815 the ration issued to the troops consisted of 13 lbs. of wheat; and to every other class it consisted of 10 lbs. of wheat and 6 lbs. of maize; and in the month of August of the same year, the first of these rations was reduced to 11½ lbs. of wheat, with 6 oz. of sugar; and to the other classes comprising convicts, 8½ lbs. of wheat, 6 lbs. of Indian corn, and 6 oz. of sugar. The same scale of rations, with similar and occasional deductions, continued to be issued until the 16th August 1817, when in consequence of a scarcity of wheat, a general reduction of the rations took place, and 6 lbs. of wheat, 1½ lb. of sugar, and 1 lb. of rice were issued to all classes, but an augmentation was made in the quantity of meat from 7 lbs. to 8½ lbs. On the 20th September of the same year, a further reduction of the wheat ration took place from 6 lbs. to 3 lbs.; with an addition of 6 oz. of sugar and 1 lb. of rice. And on the 27th December 1817, the usual full ration of it 11½ lbs. of wheat, 7 lbs. of beef or 4 lbs. of salt pork, with 6 oz. of sugar, was resumed.

On the 1st May 1819, when the convict barrack was established, the weekly-ration of every convict in the employ of government, was raised to 10½ lbs. of meat, and the same quantity of flour; and in December of the same year, (with a view to diminish the consumption of animal food) a substitution was made, for 3½ lbs. of fresh meat, or of salt pork, in each ration, by giving an additional quantity, either of flour amounting to 7 lbs. or a smaller proportion of pease, oatmeal, tea, sugar or rice, according to the state of those supplies in store.

On the 22d September 1820, the rations issued by government to all descriptions of persons were reduced to 7 lbs. of beef or mutton, or 4 lbs. of pork, 7 lbs. of flour, 1 lb. of sugar, and a quarter of a pound of tea; and by a government and general order, wherein it is stated, that a representation had been made to the governor, that the portion of this ration, consisting of 7 lbs. of flour, was not adequate to the support and nourishment of a man; his excellency directed, that 3½ lbs. of maize, should be added to that quantity of flour, and that this increase should be made to every ration except those of the military. Doubts having arisen whether this quantity of maize was intended to mean the grain, or the flour of maize, it was declared, in a subsequent general order, that a quantity of maize in grain, equal to 3½ lbs. of maize flour, should constitute the additional ration; and so constituted the rations continued to be issued to all convicts in the employ of government, from the date of the last order up to the period of my departure from the colony in the month of February 1821. The last reduction of the quantity of meat in the rations took place in consequence of the suggestions that I made to Governor Macquarrie, respecting the diminutions of the grazing stock of the colony, and to which I have already adverted. The ration therefore that was ordered to be issued on the 22d September 1820, continues to be the ration of the convicts in the employ of government, at all the stations in New South Wales, excepting that of Newcastle; and it is understood, that in return for this ration, the whole of the labour of every day, except Saturday, is devoted to the work of government.

At Hobart Town, in Van Dieman's Land, in consequence of the convicts having to procure lodging and washing for themselves, they are dismissed from government work at three o'clock; and receive for their weekly ration only 7 lbs. of fresh meat, or 4 lbs. of salt pork, and 7 lbs. of flour, or what is called the single ration, in contradistinction to the ration issued to the convicts in New South Wales, and which is called the ration and a half.

At George Town, as the system of lodging and labour is understood to be the same as that in New South Wales, the ration is the same.

At Sydney, and since the establishment of the convict barrack, the rations for the convicts who live out of barrack are drawn on Saturdays by the overseers, and one man of each of the gangs that are in Sydney and the neighbourhood, their numbers having been certified on the preceding evening to the principal superintendent of convicts, who signs and certifies the whole, after comparing them with the former returns in his office. On the Saturday mornings the overseers attend and receive these rations, and distribute them to the men, who are in attendance for that purpose. The rations to the convicts in the barracks in Hyde Park, the carters barrack, and at the establishment at Grose Farm, are drawn by and issued to the deputy superintendent of the convict barrack on Mondays and Thursdays; and he certifies to the principal superintendent on Fridays the number of rations that may be required for the week. These certificates and returns are countersigned by the chief engineer.

Wherever the convicts are lodged in barracks, the rations both of meat and flour are cooked and baked for them there; those issued to the road parties are distributed by the overseers, and cooked by the convicts in their separate huts. Care has not been always taken to give a regular allowance of salt to the road parties; and in the heat of summer the meat has been touched very soon after it was issued. With the exception of one occasion, in which it happened that some ill cured pork, imported from the Society Islands, and some equally ill cured beef and mutton from Van Dieman's Land, was issued as rations in the month of January 820, I did not observe any defect in the quality of the meat issued to the convicts, nor did I receive any complaints from those to whom I addressed observations on the subject. I attended both at Windsor and at Paramatta, and in Van Dieman's Land, at the distribution of the meat on several occasions, and had reason to be satisfied that it was as impartially made as the circumstances would admit. The management of the victualling deportment at the convict barracks is assigned to the deputy superintendent Gandle. The chief engineer made a point of attending at the barrack at the dinner hour several days in the week, to inspect the messes, and to attend to complaints respecting the food, and informed me that he had never observed the quantity to be deficient.

Under the first order that was made, respecting the rations of the government convicts, dated 1st May 1819, and which has been in operation ever since that period, it was not likely that any complaint of that nature Amid be made, for, on reference to the sixth article of the regulations of the convict barrack, it will be found that the daily allowance of each convict afforded him two pounds of bread and a pound and a half of meat when fresh meat was issued, and one pound of salt beef or mutton, and fourteen ounces of salt pork when salted provisions were issued, and to these last a small addition of potatoes or pumpkin. A reduction of this allowance to one pound of meat and one pound of flour was made upon my suggestion, in consideration of the advanced age, or of the lighter labour of particular classes; and in the month of February 1820, when the convict boys were removed to the carters barrack, a reduction of their daily allowance took place, and it was made to constitute a part of the punishment for their numerous offences. Those however who behave well, still continue to receive the same allowance as the adults.

An allowance of 2½ lbs. of salt is made for every 100 loaves of bread, and half a pound of salt is allowed to each man per week, when fresh meat is issued. In addition to these issues, an allowance of vegetables is ordered to be made by the sixth regulation, when they can be conveniently procured, but no specific quantity is stated; and unless rations of salt meat are issued, they are only mixed with the soup. The mode in which these vegetables were supplied requires some observation. Upon my first inquiry respecting this matter, I was informed that they continued to be purchased of a particular individual, until the garden that has been described before, and that is contiguous to the convict barrack, should be completed. From further information and inquiry, I found that the person who sold them, and who received occasional payments, that appeared from time to time in the accounts of the police fund, was a convict assigned to Major Druitt, the chief engineer, but not victualled by government. This man and another convict, and two soldiers of the 48th regiment, I found to be employed in the cultivation of a small piece of land near Sydney, consisting of five acres, that had been originally cleared and fenced by the soldiers of the 73d regiment, who received payment for their labour from the police fund. The garden continued to be cultivated by the 46th regiment, and for the purpose of supplying them with vegetables, but it does not appear that it was very productive in their hands. On the arrival of the 48th regiment, Major Druitt, the chief engineer, undertook several improvements in it, and having received a grant of a small allotment immediately adjoining to the military garden, some labour and expense were bestowed upon both pieces of land; and a front paling towards the Sydney road was put up by the direction of Governor Macquarrie, and at the expense of government. At the same expense this paling has been advanced, and has encroached too much upon the principal entrance to the town of Sydney. The soil of this military garden is loose sand; but with the large supply of manure that it has lately received, it has been made productive. The vegetables raised in it, as well as those in the garden of Major Druitt, immediately adjoining, were sold by his assigned convict, whose name was Bull, to the deputy superintendent of the convict barrack; and the quantities received, and the sums paid for them, appear in the return signed by the chief engineer. The price charged for these vegetables was lower than that of vegetables purchased in the Sydney market, and lower than the contract price paid by the commissariat department; but, as far as my own observations went, and at the occasional visits I made to the convict barrack, I found the vegetables to be of a very inferior description; and it also appeared to me, that the mode of supplying them was equally objectionable, as the same person whose duty it was to check both the quantity and the quality of the vegetables supplied to the convicts derived a profit from the sale of a certain, though a small portion of the supply, and had the sole management of the fund to which the proceeds of the larger portion were applied. I did not fail to point out this circumstance to the notice of Governor Macquarrie, and to press the conclusion of all the operations connected with the cultivation of the convict garden, which I had perceived to be proceeding more slowly than the urgency of the work demanded; and which, both for purposes of economy and for punishment, ought to have been completed sooner. The governor agreed with me as to the impropriety and suspicious nature of the manner of supplying the vegetables, but did not seem disposed to put a stop to it until the convict garden was finished. Latterly, however, the supply of vegetables was derived from the cultivation of a garden near the carter's barrack, which by a great abundance; and also from the cultivation of some very bad land in front of the governor's stables at Sydney, in which, after a vain attempt had been made to grow a crop of barley, several loads of bad potatoes were, with difficulty, raised. In consequence of this assistance a larger portion of vegetables was conveyed to the military barracks, from the military garden, for the use of the 48th regiment, whose funds, it will appear afterwards, had derived pecuniary assistance from the sale of their produce to the convicts.

Soon after the barrack at Paramatta had been open for their reception, Governor Macquarrie made arrangements for the appropriation of an adjoining piece of land for a garden and the cultivation of it was to be undertaken immediately, for the sole use and supply of the convicts at that station. Making due allowance for the increased quantity of labour required from the government convicts, upon the change that took place in lodging them at the opening of the barrack in the month of June 1819, as well as the liberal scale upon which it had been issued to them on all the periods when the supply of the colony admitted it, the augmentation of the ration that took place at that period in the article of meat, appears to have been large, and when compared with the allowance of animal food, ordered to be made by the settlers to their convict servants, it is still more considerable. That allowance consists of seven pounds of fresh or salt meat, or four pounds of pork, and eight pounds of wheat per week, but this latter quantity is by most of the settlers raised to fourteen pounds. In comparison with the military ration, the government ration to the convicts must be considered as extravagant; and although the rules and long established practice of the colony had sanctioned a larger allowance of wheat or flour, and that some difference may be fairly allowed to exist between the work of a convict and that of a soldier, yet it is to be regretted, that Governor Macquarrie, in his public order of the 7th October 1820, should have described that allowance which had been authorized by the warrant of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, "as inadequate to the support of a man".

Its inadequacy is certainly contradicted by the early experience of the colony, when with the addition of one pound of rice it constituted the ration of the convicts who then worked in the service of government; and it is still more palpably contradicted, by the adoption of the same ration by the military in New South Wales, since the promulgation of the Prince Regent's order there, on the 28th January 1818.

Another important difference appears always to have existed between the ration of government and that of settlers, in the larger proportion of maize that the latter has contained than the former. The proportion of the flour of this grain to that of wheat, in the daily consumption of the lower classes of the inhabitants, is stated by. an intelligent witness to have nearly amounted to one half; and although not considered so palatable as wheaten flour, is, notwithstanding, very nutritious. It appears to have constituted a part of the government ration in those periods only when wheat was scarce, though not in a larger proportion than one-third, so that in this point of view, the government ration of bread has been superior to that of the settlers. It has been generally understood in the colony, that Governor Macquarrie entertained objections to the use of this grain, in consequence of some unskilful admixture of it in the rations issued to the 73d regiment, and has therefore resisted the recommendations of individuals, as well as the strong grounds that will hereafter appear to exist in favour of the general and regular introduction of it into the flour ration of the convicts. Until the introduction of the flour of this grain for the breakfast of the convicts can be generally adopted, the present ration, as finally fixed by the government and general order of the 7th October 1820, is not larger than the labour of a convict requires; it allows the use of tea and sugar, articles that are not generally allowed by settlers to their servants, and are considered luxuries; but as a certain supply of milk is allowed to them, and as they have an opportunity of appropriating part of their wages in the purchase of articles of luxury, which the government convicts have not, the present government ration may be considered nearly as an equivalent to that of the settlers. The annual expense of this ration, calculated according to the prices of the articles that composed it in the month of September 1820, amounted to the sum of 16l. 0s. 8d. It must be observed, that the extensive scale upon which the government convicts have been lately employed, has very much augmented the responsibility of those whose duty it has been to certify the number entitled to draw rations from the king's stores. Until the establishment of the convict barrack at Sydney, the convicts in the employ of government used to attend at the store and receive their rations from thence, in messes of six; but as they were not always accompanied by their overseers, their identity could not always be established; rations might have been, and were, drawn for convicts who were not entitled to them. Subsequently to that period, and to prevent these abuses, the overseer of each gang is made to attend to draw the rations for those out of barrack, having on the day preceding made out and signed a nominal list of the men that compose their gang, which is seen and checked by the principal superintendent, who signs it, and it is then an authority to the storekeeper and the officers of the commissariat department to issue and charge the rations. For all those lodged in the barracks, the deputy superintendent makes requisitions of meat and other supplies, according to the number actually lodged in the barracks; a numerical list so signed is sent to the storekeeper on the Friday evening, and the provision returns are signed weekly by the deputy superintendent of the convict barrack.

The commissariat officers have no check whatever upon either of these returns, and it must depend altogether upon the integrity and correctness of the different overseers, whether the number of rations drawn does not exceed the number of convicts in their gang, and living out of the barracks. A greater degree of responsibility attaches to the returns made from the convict barracks to the commissariat store at Sydney, from the carter's barrack, and from Grose Farm. It is assumed, that the changes that take place in the numbers of convicts received in and discharged from those places during the week, are correctly stated; those returned by the settlers, and placed in the government gangs, are only received on Fridays, and they are taken on charge only on that day; but several removals of the convicts from one gang to another, from the town to the barrack, from Paramatta to Sydney, or from Grose Farm and the carter's barrack to the barrack in Hyde Park, take place in the middle of the week, and as the service may require; and the correctness of the charge made for their rations is altogether in the hands of an emancipated clerk to the deputy superintendent Gandle, who keeps the weekly account of the increase and decrease that takes place in each week. Men who are discharged from the hospital, after the commencement of the victualling week, would remain without rations until the Friday, unless this mode of keeping the accounts were adopted, or a more frequent issue from the store were practicable. At the other stations in New South Wales the rule is invariably observed, of receiving convicts on the victualling returns on Fridays only; the former practice in the Sydney hospital the convicts were retained there after they were convalescent, and until the Friday in each week; present they are discharged whenever they are found convalescent, and without reference to the commencement or the termination of the victualling week, an arrangement that is beneficial to the hospital, but that creates the necessity of giving a more extensive control over the issues to the deputy superintendent of the barrack. The weekly returns that are kept at the convict barrack contain the names of every convict, the gang, the date when and from whom received, and finally, the increase and decrease that takes place in each week; and entries are made of all the returns in books kept in the office of the principal superintendent, at the lumber-yard in Sydney. The principal superintendent and the chief engineer are the only persons who hold any check, either upon the correctness of these weekly returns, or of the requisitions that are made by the deputy superintendent to the commissariat officer of the number of rations. The correctness of the weekly returns made by the different overseers, of the number and names borne upon their several lists, can only be checked and observed by their occasional and unexpected visits to the gangs, and muster of them. Some of these gangs, it has been seen, are employed at some distance from Sydney, and it is admitted by the chief engineer and the principal superintendent, that the efficacy of their own control consists more in the information that they receive of the connivance of the overseers in the absence of the convicts under them, than in the regularity of their visits to them; evil, which is inseparable from a variety of works and increases with it, induced me at all times to recommend to the chief engineer, as much as possible, to concentrate his operations in one spot, and to bring them as near as possible to the convict barrack. It was partly with this view that I recommended Governor Macquarrie to convert the court-house in Hyde Park into a church, to expedite the building of the wall round the convict garden, and that I at last gave a reluctant consent to the construction of a new gaol in the immediate neighbourhood of Hyde Park, instead of adhering to the plan of building it upon an elevated situation in another and more distant part of the town, upon the site of an old battery, now dismantled, and called Fort Philip.

The nature of the control, exercised over this branch of expenditure at Hobart Town, is marked by the same spirit of vigilance and method that has already been observed to exist in that settlement. The changes that take place in the receipt or discharge of the government convicts during the week, are all noted by the acting engineer, Major Bell; and a list of the convicts so changed is signed by him, and transmitted to the lieutenant-governor, who also affixes his signature to it, and it is then an authority to the officer in the commissariat department to issue the rations.

A detailed estimate of the weekly expense of the maintenance clothing and employment of a convict in the work of government, in New South Wales, and without including that which is incurred for superintendence, police and medical attendance, is to be found in the Appendix. According to the price and scale of the rations of the year 1819, the annual expense is found to amount to the sum of 26l. 17s. 4d. and in the year 1820, to the sum of 24l. 14s.

The estimate made of the proportionate value that the labour of a convict, working for government, bears to that of a free labourer working for himself, is differently stated by the principal superintendent of convicts and the chief engineer; the former rating it at two-thirds less, and the latter at one-third, which is also the calculation made by Major Bell, the acting engineer at Hobart Town.

The average rate of the earnings of mechanics in government employ at Sydney, is stated in a return made by the principal superintendent of convicts; but it is made with reference to the calculation of the value of the labour of a convict, made by the chief and acting engineer. From my own observation of the manner in which the convicts worked at all the stations, I should be much more disposed to adopt the calculation of the principal superintendent than that of the chief or acting engineer; and this observation was confirmed by the opinion of most of the persons who were conversant with the nature of convict labour in New South Wales. The expense to which the employment of the convicts in the government works has led, will be better explained when I come to take a review of the different works that have been carried on during the last ten years in the colony, and in. Van Dieman's Land. Before I enter upon that subject, I think it necessary to make some observations upon the mode of distributing and employing the female convicts. On reference to the Appendix, it appears, that out of 1,541 that have arrived in New South Wales, from the 13th January 1814 to the 12th of September 1820, 530 have been sent to employment in the factory at Paramatta, 12 to the different hospitals as nurses, and 396 to Van Dieman's Land; the remainder, amounting to 603, have either been distributed to families, to individuals, and to their husbands, or have received tickets of leave for the purpose of maintaining themselves. That great abuses have arisen, and do arise, from the first distribution of the female convicts on their arrival, sufficiently appears from the evidence of the principal superintendent.

Yielding to the recommendations made to him by the captains and surgeons of the female convict ships, Governor Macquarie has given tickets of leave to some of the females on their arrival; and influenced also by a wish to economize the public expenditure, he has given the same indulgence to those who were represented to him as having money, by which they have established themselves in the town of Sydney, and at once been placed on a level with the emancipated and free convicts of their own sex. In this state, which cannot be considered as a state of punishment, and which tends to produce a belief that opulence can redeem the consequences of crime, these women form connections with the convicts whom they have formerly known in England, or support themselves by any casual demand for their labour. Those also who have children, and have any means of supporting themselves, are furnished with tickets of leave. The government is thus relieved from the expense of their maintenance, and they are themselves benefitted by being saved from the consequences of consignment to the factory at Paramatta.

The principal superintendent Hutchinson, in the original distribution of the female convicts, is sole judge of the propriety or impropriety of the applications that are made for them. His orders are to refuse them on the application of single men, unless their character should be such as to preclude the suspicion of unworthy and immoral motives. The exercise of this delicate and important duty is thus committed to a person, who is himself not exempt from the charge of immoral habits and connections, and not sufficiently raised above the rank of ordinary applicants to resist improper applications with firmness. His knowledge of the inhabitants of Sydney enables him to form an opinion of the motives that guide their applications for female convicts; but of the condition of those who reside in the country, he is entirely ignorant. Refusals to such applications are, however, but rarely made and no complaints of that nature were addressed to me. I am likewise bound to state, that after entertaining much suspicion myself of the manner in which this part of the duty of the principal superintendent was performed, and after some inquiry respecting it, I was not able to obtain any satisfactory proof of corrupt motives in the distribution that had been made by him of the female convicts. It is admitted by him, that their cohabitation was the frequent consequence of the indulgence afforded to them on their arrival; and that it was not an offence of which he conceived himself bound to take cognizance. The removal of the female convicts from Sydney to Paramatta has been already mentioned. On their arrival there, they are allowed to remain in a wooden building that is near the factory; and if they have succeeded in bringing their bedding from the ships, they are permitted to deposit it there, or in the room in which the female prisoners are confined for punishment. The first of these apartments is in the upper floor of a house that was built for the reception of pregnant females. It contains another apartment, on the ground floor, that is occupied by the men employed in the factory. It is not surrounded by any wall or paling; and the upper room or garret has only one window, and an easy communication with the room below. No accommodation is afforded for cooking provisions in this building; nor does there exist either inducement to the female convicts to remain in it, or the means of preventing their escape. The greater portion, therefore, betake themselves to the lodgings in the town of Paramatta, where they cohabit with the male convicts in the employ of government, or with any persons who will receive them. Their employment in the factory consists of picking, spinning and carding wool. They are tasked to perform a certain quantity in the day, and when their task is finished, which is generally at one o'clock, they are allowed to return to their lodgings. Their weekly ration consists of four pounds ten ounces of flour, and the same quantity of meat, or two pounds of pork; and the same ration is issued to the females who are confined for punishment. The children who accompany their mothers to Paramatta are maintained by government, and receive one half of the ration last described. As there is a general objection amongst the settlers, to receive into their families female convicts who are accompanied by children, it is their lot to remain longer in Paramatta, and at the factory, than others. The factory itself to consists of one long room that is immediately above the gaol, having two windows in front that look into the gaol yard, one in the end of the building, and two windows looking into a yard that is immediately behind. The dimensions of the room are 60 feet by 20; and at one end are store-rooms, where the wool, yarn and cloth are kept. There is one fire-place, at which all the provisions are cooked. The women have no other beds than those they can make from the wool in its dirty state; and they sleep upon it at night, and in the midst of their spinning wheels and work. No attempt has been made to preserve cleanliness in this room, as the boards had shrunk so much, that when they were washed, the water fell through them into the prison rooms below. The walls of the room and the roof bore equal marks of neglect; and the drains in the yard were in the highest degree offensive.

Colloquial intercourse always took place between the female convicts and the male convicts confined in the prison, except during the hours of labour; for in the windows there was nothing more than three wooden bars, and inside shutters. A range of wooden buildings had been erected on one side of the yard below, connected with the gaol and factory by a wall of ten feet. In this range, and in a small building attached to one of the side walls, were placed the looms, where the cloth was wove by male convicts assigned for the purpose. At a little distance from the factory, and beyond this wall was the superintendent's house and garden, containing four small and inconvenient rooms. Mr. Oakes, the superintendent, had for some time ceased to inhabit them himself, and had converted one of them into the a stable; but he had continued for his own use the cultivation of a small garden and a paddock immediately adjoining. The care of the factory, therefore, except es, during the hours of labour, was committed to a constable, who was still a convict, who had continued in that office for 15 years, and received no larger allowance as a reward for his fidelity than a ration and a half. The security for the performance of his duty, depends upon the risk of detection; the same presumptive check that is supposed to provide for the official integrity of many other establishments in New South Wales, aided by the further probability of disclosures, to which the intoxication of the women would lead, if they were permitted by the constable to go out of the factory, when confined there. Considered as a place of punishment for offences committed by female convicts in New South Wales, the factory at, Paramatta acted merely as a temporary restraint from indiscriminate intercourse or unchecked dissipation. The labour of the females, confined for punishment, was not greater than those that were retained there for employment; and their diet was in nowise inferior. The only punishment that it inflicted was that of moral and physical degradation, beyond the low, state of exigence from which many of them had habit, were associated in their daily tasks with those who had very lately arrived, to the same level. The women who had become most profligate and hardened by previously been taken; and reducing those who had been in better situations, nearly to whom the customs and practices of the colony were yet unknown, and who might have escaped the consequences of such pernicious lessons, if a little care and a small portion of expense had been spared in providing them with a separate apartment during the hours of labour. As a place of employment, the factory at Paramatta was not only very defective, but very prejudicial. The insufficient accommodation that it afforded to those females who might be well disposed, presented an early incitement, if not an excuse, for their resorting to indiscriminate prostitution and on the evening of their arrival at Paramatta, those who were not deploring their state of abandonment and distress were traversing the streets, in search of the guilty means of future support. The state in which the place itself was kept, and the state of disgusting filth in which I found it, both on an early visit after my arrival, and on one preceding my departure the disordered, unruly and licentious appearance of the women manifested the little degree of control in which the female convicts were kept, and the little attention that was paid to any thing beyond the mere performance of a certain portion of labour. Mr. Oakes, the superintendent, has justified himself by the abandoned habits of the women, and the want of means to make their punishment effectual. It must be acknowledged, that in such a building as the factory, his task was a hopeless one: it might have been made more effectual by his more constant and contiguous residence, but he was charged with the duties of chief constable in the town of Paramatta, and carried on the business of a baker. No instance was represented to me of his improper connivance in the misconduct of the women; and the magistrates of Paramatta, to one of whom he had given serious cause of offence, bore testimony to the activity and perseverance that he displayed in the performance of his duty, as superintendent of the factory.

The evil consequences arising to the colony from the indiscriminate association and the unrestrained prostitution of so many licentious women, have been seriously felt by the inhabitants at large. With the temptations that their residence in Paramatta afforded, and the slight degree of punishment that confinement in the factory inflicted, no female convict, when assigned to a respectable family, could be taught the value of such a situation, or could be made to feel the necessity of obedience. These consequences are strongly and justly described in a letter addressed by the Reverend Mr. Marsden to Governor Macquarrie in the year 1815, and that makes part of the evidence submitted to the Committee of Parliament on the State of Gaols. The effects stated by Mr. Marsden are partially confirmed by the answer of Governor Macquarrie, and receive further confirmation from the evidence of Mr. Oakes, the chief constable of Paramatta; from that of Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, Mr. West, Mr. Rouse, and Mr. Coxe.

Mr. Marsden, as acting magistrate at Paramatta, took a leading part in the police of that place, and became more fully acquainted, and more deeply impressed, with the nature and extent of the mischief that it created. The gaol and factory, moreover, had originally been constructed under his directions, and he must at an early period have been convinced of the inadequacy of such buildings, for the purposes either of penal discipline or of moral restraint: in both these points of view, the plan was as objectionable as the execution was defective.

The report of Mr. Greenway, the colonial architect, upon the state of these buildings, that was made in the month of October 1816, alludes in very general terms to them; but it indicates the defects inherent in the plan, and the consequences to which they naturally led. Without making Mr. Marsden responsible or these defects of the building that he superintended, and which was originally intended for a place of employment only, it is somewhat surprising, that from the period of his appointment to the magistracy, in the year 1811, to the year 1815, he had not addressed some representation to Governor Macquarrie, of the same evils that he then deplored, the existence of which, long antecedently, must have been as much within his observation, and must have as forcibly attracted it. Deference employed in other buildings, and want of success that he had experienced in procuring to the feelings of Governor Macquarie, whose attention he observed to be then employed in other buildings, and want of success that he had experienced in procuring some attention to his representations respecting the hospital at Paramatta, might have been the motives for this silence: whatever they really were, the facts that are stated by Mr. Marsden, in his letter to Governor Macquarrie, could not have altogether escaped his knowledge and observation. The complaints in the colony respecting the misconduct of the female convicts, of their disobedience, and of their immoral connections, must have been known to him, and they must have pointed at the want of accommodation in the colony, and punishment of the female convicts, as the natural sources of these evils.

Having observed, in Governor Macquarrie's answer to Mr. Marsden, that he justified the delay that occurred, and was still to take place, in the construction of a proper place of reception for the female convicts, by the want of any specific instructions from your Lordship to undertake such a building, and which he states that he solicited at an early period of his government, and considered indispensible, I felt it to be my duty to call to the recollection of Governor Macquarrie, that he had undertaken several buildings of much less urgent necessity than the factory at Paramatta, without waiting for any such indispensible authority; and I now find, that the construction of it was announced by him to your Lordship in the year 1817, as then in his contemplation, without making any specific allusion to the evils which the want of it had so long occasioned; that the contract for building it was announced to the public on the 21st March ISIS, and that your Lordship's approval of it was not signified until the 24th August 1818, and could not have reached Governor Macquarrie's hands until nearly a year after the work had been undertaken. It appears, therefore, that if want of authority had been the sole cause of the delay in building the factory at Paramatta, that cause would not only have operated in the month of March 1818, but it would have continued to operate until the want of authority had been formally supplied. Governor Macquarrie, however, must be conscious, that after he had stated to Mr. Marsden in the year 1815, and with an appearance of regret, that the want of authority prevented him from undertaking the construction of a building of such undeniable necessity and importance as the factory at Paramatta, he had undertaken several buildings, which, though useful in themselves, were of less comparative importance; and had commenced, in the month of August 1817, the laborious and expensive construction of his own stables at Sydney, to which I have already alluded, without any previous communication to your Lordship, and in direct opposition to an instruction that must have then reached him, and that forcibly warned him of the consequences. I cannot help regarding, therefore, the want of authority alleged by Governor Macquarrie as a feeble and unsafe justification of himself, for the delay that has taken place in undertaking the construction of a house of reception for the female convicts at Paramatta; and I think that this ground of justification is still further weakened, by a consideration of the means that he possessed of providing good accommodation at a very moderate rate of expense. To accomplish this purpose I cannot admit that an expensive building, or any architectural ornament, was either necessary or desirable: the principal object in view was, that of preventing improper intercourse between the female convicts and the male inhabitants of the town and vicinity, and providing accommodation for them, in the hours of labour, until proper situations could be procured for them in the families of the settlers and inhabitants. The continuation of a wall, 12 feet in height, from the end of that which surrounds the gaol at Paramatta, and the complete enclosure of an acre and a half of ground, containing separate houses of wood, and one for a work-room, would, I conceive, have answered these purposes entirely, and more effectually, than the building that has lately been erected, and that was in progress on my arrival.

The female convicts, who had any disposition to conduct themselves well, might have been provided with the means of separation from those who manifested a contrary disposition; their food might have been prepared without the temptation of exchanging a portion of it for spirits; and they would have become habituated to the same sort of accommodation and tenements, that it was, and still is, their lot to inhabit, when assigned to the service of settlers in the colony.

The effects of the licentiousness of the women at Paramatta are more visible in their appearance than in their health, or in that of their children. I was much struck with this circumstance, at the first muster that I attended at Paramatta in the year 1819, when most of them were accompanied by fine and healthy children, some of whom had been born after their mothers had attained the age of 45. The appearance of those, who were destined to inhabit the new factory in 1821, denoted a state of greater profligacy and abandonment; and was attributed by Mr. Oakes to their rooted apprehension of being deprived of their former means of indulgence.

The present building, that is now appropriated to their use, was intended for the lodging and employment of not less than 300. It is placed upon the extremity of a large, uninclosed tract of sterile ground, that is separated by the Paramatta River from the town, and from the pleasure-ground lately attached to the residence of the governor. The quantity of water in the river varies greatly in the different seasons of the year, sometimes leaving its bed nearly dry, and generally fordable; and at others, raising, it to within 15 feet from the highest part of the left bank, close to the edge of which the outside wall of the new factory stands.

In the first design that was made of this building, and submitted to the contractors, it was not intended to surround it with any external wall; but as it was soon discovered that the rustic work, in which the quoins of the basement story were cut, afforded great facilities of access to the windows of the floor in which it was intended that the women should sleep, it was deemed expedient to surround the whole building with a wall of nine feet six inches high. It was also observed, that a breach had been made by the river, that threatened the foundation of the wall and one of the work-rooms, and it was then considered prudent to construct a deep buttress, that now lines the bank of the river, and protects the foundation from further encroachment.

The amount of the original contract for the principal building was 4,800l. and the important additions, that have just been mentioned, will create a further charge, amounting nearly to 1,200l.

The situation of this building was chosen on account of its contiguity to the river, and the projected employment of the females in spinning flax and bleaching linen. These objects were certainly desirable; yet I could not perceive, nor was I informed of any reason that might have prevented a partial retirement of the building from the bank of the river, by which both the expense of the embankment wall would have been avoided, and the factory itself would have le intruded upon the privacy of the government grounds that are immediately opposite, and not more than 30 yards distant. The situation of the factory is dry, healthy and cheerful; and is at some distance, though not an inconvenient one, from the town of Paramatta. The principal building consists of a basement story, containing two rooms, in which the female convicts are to take their meals; and two upper stories, in each of which are two large sleeping rooms and two smaller ones. Each of the larger sleeping rooms will contain 20 double beds; and two of the small rooms will contain six single beds; thus providing for the accommodation of 172 females. These rooms are separated by a staircase and landing-places; and in the centre of the roof, immediately above, a cupola has been introduced for the purposes of ornament and ventilation. The principal building divides the outer from the inner yard. In the former is the principal entrance and porter's lodge; and on each side are four rooms, with separate entrances to each, for the accommodation of the superintendent and his family, and a deputy superintendent.

One of these rooms was also designated as a library, but without apparent or probable application of it to such an use.

On one side of the same outer court, and fronting inwards, is the hospital, consisting of two small apartments and a medicine and store-room; and on the opposite side is the room for weaving cloth, which was to be occupied during the day by male convicts. The entrance to the inner court leads through the centre of the basement story of the principal building; and on each side of it are four small and very ill-contrived lodges for the constables or overseers. In the three sides of the inner court, and fronting inwards, are the kitchen and bakehouse, and store-room for provisions, with rooms above for storing wool, a long spinning room, and carding room, with a store-room for wool and cloth. The privies that had been constructed under the floor of one of these offices, with drains leading to the river, were removed, on account of their defective and inconvenient construction, to a more distant part of the building; and when the female convicts were established in it, in February 1821, it was in contemplation to add washhouses and laundries, that had been either omitted or forgotten in the original plan, and which never could have been supplied if the external wall had not been added.

Mr. Marsden had been requested by Governor Macquarrie to furnish a Plan for a factory, before the contract for the present building was announced to the public. That which he submitted was upon a larger scale than the design of Mr. Greenway, and less ornamental; but both of the plans seem to have contemplated the employment, rather than the punishment of female convicts; and in neither was there any provision made for the separation of those who were sentenced to punishment by the magistrates, from those who had not been assigned to settlers on their arrival, a distinction which of all others was the most important.

Governor Macquarrie was so anxious that I should witness the removal of the female convicts from the old to the new factory before my departure from the colony, and it was a measure that was in itself so desirable, that although the new building was not quite completed, the chief engineer received orders to make all possible dispatch, in making the furniture and cooking utensils and on the 1st February 1821, the removal of the female convicts took place, and 112 (of whom 40 were confined for punishment) were lodged in the new building. The apprehension of confinement and greater discipline, that the sight of it had created amongst them, had not been without its effects; and during three months, anterior to the day of their removal, several marriages had taken place at Paramatta church, the motives for which were clearly attributable to the fear of greater restraint than any that the female convicts had previously endured, and not from any respect for the new obligation they had incurred; for several of them separated from their husbands in a few days after their marriage.

Governor Macquarrie expressed a wish that I should draw up some regulations for the management of the factory before my departure: but my attention was then so entirely engaged with other matters, that I could not devote any portion of it to that subject; and the regulations in the Appendix were framed, and read to the female convicts, on the day of their removal.

I could not help regretting with the governor, that the care and superintendence of the factory was no longer to remain in the hands of Mr. Oakes, who, in many respects, was better qualified for the duty than any other person in the colony. He had made himself so obnoxious to the resident magistrate at Paramatta, Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, and had been guilty of such wilful disrespect to him, that Governor Macquarrie had determined to dismiss him. His place was to be supplied by a young man, a native of the colony, who had acted as deputy superintendent of the factory, under Mr. Oakes. This person was married, but possessed neither experience nor energy for conducting such an establishment.

Upon my arrival in the colony in September 1819, my first visit to the old factory at Paramatta impressed me with the strongest wish to effect an amelioration in the condition of the female convicts consigned to it.

The contract for the new one had been then entered into, and the building was commenced. I was informed that from the low terms at which the contract was taken, some great departure from its conditions was to be apprehended, or some great delay in its completion. A very considerable difference had been observed in the offers of other contractors, and of those who had undertaken it, amounting to no less than 5,000l. but as Mr. Greenway, the architect, felt confident that the contractors would be able to perform their part of the undertaking, and as no stipulation had been made for performing it within any given period, I recommended to Governor Macquarrie to dispense with any or all parts that were of an ornamental kind; and to afford, from time to time, to the contractors, such assistance in government labour as they might require, with a view to expedite the building, but not to relieve them from the pressure of their contract. That assistance was ultimately allowed them; and a geometrical staircase, that had been projected by Mr. Greenway for the centre part of the building, was dispensed with, and a plain one of wood was substituted for it. For the purpose of affording some degree of internal control, six solitary cells were provided in the outer court; and in the space, formed by the inclosure of the whole building, more extensive and better means of separation and punishment may hereafter be added, than the original plan of the principal building was capable of affording. Excepting the rustic work of the basement story, I did not observe any attempts at unnecessary decoration; and although some parts of the connecting walls were curtailed from the original dimensions, the work appeared to me to coincide in all important points with the specification. The roofing and the flooring timber, from not having been sufficiently seasoned, had shrunk from its original dimensions; and the mortar contained a larger portion of loam than was permitted in the specification. With these exceptions, the building was not badly executed; and with good regulation and superintendence, is capable of affording accommodation to the female convicts, but will require some alteration before it can be considered secure from intrusion.

The want of a place of confinement, for the female convicts in Van Dieman's Land, for punishment, had, for some time, been a subject of regret to Lieutenant. Governor Sorrell, who, at the end of the year 1820, at length obtained permission from Governor Macquarrie to construct a place separate from the gaol, in which they could be more strictly confined and more effectually punished.

The demand for female servants had generally been so great as to afford employment, in the first instance, to those who were sent from Sydney, or that in later instances were landed in Van Dieman's Land from England.

The same principle, that had guided the consignment of the worst description of male convicts to Van Dieman's Land from Sydney, caused also the successive transmission thither of the worst description of females; and from this cause, as well as the want of a proper place of punishment, the female convicts in Van Dieman's Land were not in a state of very effectual control.

Governor Macquarrie's objection to the construction of a place of employment and punishment, of the female convicts in Van Dieman's Land, seems to have proceeded from a belief that the employment of them in the service of settlers would supersede the necessity of providing any at the expense of government; and he directed Lieutenant-governor Sorrell to send any of them, for whom more strict punishment was required, to the establishment at Paramatta. The expense and evil consequences of this arrangement were very soon perceivable, in the necessity that occurred of returning to Paramatta six female convicts that had arrived by the Janus, and that had been sent in a government vessel to Port Dalrymple and Hobart Town, in the short space of three weeks after their arrival there.

The manner in which they were sent in the government vessels, and the unrestrained prostitution that took place on board that which conveyed 30 female convicts from Port Jackson to that place and Hobart Town, in the year 1820, make it very desirable that all removals of a similar nature should be avoided; and it is greatly to be wished that the necessity of recurring to them may, in future, be prevented, by the speedy accomplishment of the object that Lieutenant-governor Sorrell had in view.

Nature of the Labour of Convicts in the Service of Settlers.

THE nature of the labour performed by convicts, assigned to the settlers in New South Wales, has undergone some alteration since the earlier years of its establishment.

Sydney Gazette, 15 January 1804.]

In the month of January 1804, an order was issued by Governor King, requiring all persons who applied for convicts to sign an indenture, by which they covenanted to clothe and maintain them according to same rate of allowance that was afforded by government to the convicts in its employ, for the space of 12 calendar months, under penalty of paying 1s. for every day of the term that was unexpired, unless they could give a satisfactory reason for their discharge. In return for this allowance, the convicts were compelled to perform a certain portion of labour for their masters, that had been regulated and set forth in an order issued by Governor Hunter in the years 1798 and 1799; and it was repeated in the subsequent order of Governor King. The work required from a convict was, to labour for ten hours, throughout the year, for five days in the week and six hours on Saturdays. As it was found that they were frequently enabled to perform their allotted task in a less time, they were allowed to apply such portion as they could save from their government hours, to their own benefit, reservation being made to the master of a preferential right to the services of his convict servant, if he could afford or thought fit to employ and pay for them. The rate of payment for this extra labour, as well as for the labour of freemen, was fixed by Governor King at the same time, and continued at the same rate until the month of December 1816.

Sydney Gazette, 15 January 1804.]

Sydney Almanack, 1814; Tithe Labour.]

The quantity of labour that a settler was entitled to exact from the convict servant, in the regulated hours, is set forth in a schedule annexed to the order of Governor King, and is acted upon at the present moment; subject to such modifications as the magistrates may think fit to make, in consequence of stress of weather, state of the land, or the strength of the convict labourer.

It is stated by Mr. Oxley, that in the earliest periods the labour of the whole day was exacted from the convicts; and this rule was not relaxed until a scarcity of provisions having occurred, their labour ceased at three o'clock on each day, to enable them to work at gardens in the town of Sydney. Since that period, this dispensation grew into a general custom; and wages were assigned to the convicts for such labour as they might perform for their master after three o'clock on each day. The mischievous consequences that were found to arise, from the inability of the poorer classes of settlers to pay for the extra labour of their convicts, or even to pay the wages of their regulated labour, appear to have been severely felt in the colony, in the year 1814, by the unauthorized dispersion of the convicts in search of employment in distant districts, and in the means of secreting stolen property that was afforded to them, by the permission of their masters, to feed pigs and poultry on their farms in lieu of wages.

For the prevention of these evils, the settlers who did not require the entire services of the men assigned to them, or who could not afford to pay for them, were I required to return them forthwith to the principal superintendent of Sydney, or to the magistrates of the different districts. The amount of the wages that a settler was compellable, under this order, to pay to his convict labourer, varied with the fluctuating value of the paper money, in which all payments were made, until the month of December 1816. At that period, the amount of the annual wages, pay able to every male convict employed by a settler, was fixed at 10l. sterling; and if the regular allowance of clothing was found by the master, he was entitled to deduct and from this amount the sum of 3l.

To every female convict, the annual amount of wages was fixed at 7l. and the deduction for clothing was fixed at 1l. 10s. This adjustment of prices was referred by Governor Macquarrie to the magistrates of the colony, and agreed upon by them at the same period; in which was ordered, that all payments in colonial currency should cease, and thenceforth be calculated in sterling.

Such are the conditions upon which the convicts in New South Wales are at present assigned to settlers; and although they have ceased for some time to be secured by any written stipulation, yet they are considered to be established by custom, and to form a guide for the decisions of the magistrates in all disputes that occur between the settlers and their convict servants.

It was never permitted, at any period in the colony, to a master to inflict corporal punishment upon his convict labourer; reference to a magistrate was always and is now enjoined for the purpose of substantiating the mutual complaints that arise between them. These complaints are found, in most cases, to proceed from the reluctance or inability of the convict to perform his task; from his attempts to plunder his master's property, or that of the convicts about him; or from the manner in which his wages are paid by his master. A very large proportion of the convicts assigned to the settlers, having, in the later periods of the colony, consisted of the lowest classes of labourers from the manufacturing districts of Great Britain, or from the populous towns, much difficulty has been experienced in training them to agricultural labour on their arrival, and this difficulty has increased as the system of agriculture in the colony has improved. Hence have arisen the perpetual changes of the convict labourers from the service of one settler to another, and the expense to the crown in maintaining those that are returned as useless and unprofitable.

This evil has been necessarily accompanied by a violation of Governor King's order, that every settler should retain a convict assigned to him for the space of one twelvemonth; and the inconvenience was afterwards so strongly felt, that Governor Macquarrie, on the 30th September 1815, directed that no settler or other person should send back to the government gangs any servants assigned to them, unless for the commission of some fault or crime, or unless they should be found unfit for manual labour from sickness or other infirmity. It is stated by Mr. Rouse, the if superintendent of convicts at Paramatta, that this order was violated in one month after its promulgation, and that it was found impracticable to adhere to it.

The great inconvenience and interruption that complaints against these servants occasion to the settlers, and the risk to which they are exposed in leaving their property to seek redress from the magistrates, is severely felt by all the inhabitants of the colony; some of them, especially those who had themselves been convicts, feel a degree of commendable reluctance in making a complaint against a convict labourer for mere incapacity, and would rather submit to the unrequited expense of his maintenance than be the cause of the infliction of unmerited punishment. This feeling is in some degree attributable to a sympathy with that condition which was once their own, and is not corrected until they acquire property, and a disposition to improve and augment it. Others, influenced by less humane considerations, or by a dislike of the trouble of complaining, allow the convict to seek employment where he can find it, or leave him in the towns, where he is apprehended. He is in these cases sent to gaol, where he receives an allowance of one pound of bread per day, until he is taken by another settler; and if he should be sent to Sydney or Paramatta, he is placed in one of the government gangs. By this means his or capacity for agricultural labour is not removed, and his dispositions and habits of indolence are in most cases confirmed.

The effect of the labour required from the convicts, assigned to the settlers, varies with their character and condition. In the service of the more opulent, who can afford to pay for a greater quantity of labour than is required by the government orders, the convict will generally perform, and will earn more than his annual wages after an experience of one year. He is thus confined during the day to his master's farm, and prevented from rambling in pursuit of plunder; and the fatigue of the day's labour disposes him to tranquillity and to rest at night. He finds that, by increased exertion, he possesses the means of improving both his present and future condition; and he every day becomes more skilful in that species of labour, by which he may hereafter seek to establish himself in the possession of property, and make it available for his support.

The employment of convicts in the service of the lower classes of settlers, who cannot afford to pay them any thing beyond their rations, or to stimulate or reward their industry by paying for their extra labour, is, on the contrary, very pernicious. The convict is thus allowed to leave his home in pursuit of labour that he cannot find there, and he is out of the reach even of the imperfect control of his necessitous master. Governor Macquarrie has endeavoured to restrain this practice by several orders; and in some of the districts, chiefly occupied by the lower class of settlers, the magistrates have lately found it necessary to enforce their execution, both by exacting the fine imposed by those orders, and by removing the convict labourers from the control of those settlers who could not furnish them with employment. It may also be generally observed, that whenever the demand for the produce of agricultural labour in New South Wales is diminished, either to the richer or the poorer classes of settlers, the effect will be the same; neither of them will then continue to employ or maintain convicts, much less to stimulate their industry in the production of a commodity that is unsaleable: whereas, under the operation and encouragement of a steady market, the settler can both afford to give his convict servants such a liberal allowance of food as will make them satisfied with their condition and willing to remain in it, and can give that stimulus to their exertions that supersedes the necessity of coercion, and leaves the convict neither time nor strength to undertake enterprizes of a criminal nature.

It is the want of this stimulus to the labour of the convict, or the fear of producing greater mischief by applying it, that was noticed as the great defect in the system of government labour in the towns; and it is precisely in these points that the labour of convicts assigned to respectable and opulent settlers in the country, has appeared to me to be so much to be preferred, and so well calculated to answer the colonial as well as the penal objects of the establishment of New South Wales. It has unfortunately happened, that the attention of the colonial government has hitherto been fixed upon the production of two objects, for which its own consumption formed at once both the demand and the limit; and the perpetual variations that have occurred in that demand, together with certain other difficulties in supplying it, have rather had the effect of deterring than of stimulating the efforts of respectable settlers in the cultivation of grain, and the largest supplies have been furnished by the lower classes.

The payment of wages for the regulated labour of the convicts, or for their earnings by extra labour, is generally made to them in articles of consumption, such as tea, sugar, and tobacco; and on the larger estates an account is kept by the owner or his overseer of the quantities of work performed, and of articles issued in payment.

Sydney Gazette, 7 December 1816.]

By the last order of Governor Macquarrie, and by the decisions of the magistrates, the convicts are considered to be entitled to demand their wages in money; but the difficulty that they find in purchasing the different articles that they require, and the evil consequences of the unrestrained purchase of spirits, have given rise to the custom of paying the largest proportion of wages in New South Wales in articles of consumption, such as tea, sugar, and tobacco, and which are better known under the general designation of "property". The prices of these articles vary from 40 to 70 per cent. above the wholesale ready money prices, and from 25 to 35 per cent. above the retail prices of Sydney; these variations depending upon local circumstances, and being liable, when disputed, to the final adjustment of the magistrates.

It sometimes happens that a compensation is made to the convict for the high price of the goods, by an increased price for his labour; but I did not find that this understanding was so generally recognized as Mr. Oxley has stated in his evidence.

It thus appears that the rate of wages, both of free and convict labour in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, is nominal, and depends in great measure upon the fluctuating prices of the articles that are given in payment. This circumstance alone, independent of those arising from the condition of the employer, gives rise to frequent disputes between him and his servant; they are determinable by the magistrates, who being settlers, must naturally feel an interest in support of charges that have the effect of diminishing the price of labour to themselves as well as others. In my inquiries upon this subject, I found that the magistrates were always inclined to favour payments in property, rather than in money, to convicts; but I did not become acquainted with any instance in which their authority had been used to force the submission of a convict to an oppressive charge. In the Appendix are two accounts of articles delivered to convicts in payment of their labour, at a period when the prices of colonial currency prevailed; and I subsequently found that they resembled the generality of payments made at the same period. It will be observed, that in these accounts, there are two or more charges for spirits, which, although strictly prohibited, are frequently given by the more opulent and respectable settlers, in remuneration or encouragement for extraordinary exertion.

The regulated allowance of food to a convict in the employ of a settler in New law South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, consists of seven pounds of fresh or salt meat, or four pounds of pork, and eight pounds of wheat; but it has already been observed that the last article is generally increased to fourteen pounds. Tea and sugar form a constant accompaniment to the meals of convicts, as well as of the lower classes of settlers, who, in general, admit them to their tables; but milk and vegetables are supplied only by the higher classes. The allowance of wheat is ground into flour by the convicts themselves, by means of steel hand mills, and is made into heavy cakes, baked in the embers of their own fires, and frequently afterwards fried in the fat of pork.

A considerable admixture of maize takes place in the ration of wheat, amongst the lower classes of settlers, and the convicts in the service of the more opulent settlers, when wheat becomes scarce; and it is greatly to be desired that this admixture should be authorized by the continued practice, as well as the directions of the colonial government, and that it should henceforth be considered as a constituent part of every ration that is issued to a convict in New South Wales, and in the proportion of one half to the ration of wheaten flour. The cultivation of maize is less affected by the vicissitudes of the climate of New South Wales than that of other grain; the produce is more easily secured from destruction by insects, and it affords the best food for horses, poultry and pigs. For the purposes of distillation, it is equally useful, and with sugar has been universally substituted for barley in the breweries of New South Wales.

The convicts upon the large estates are generally lodged in separate huts built of wood, and covered with the bark of the eucalyptus. The numbers in each but are not limited; and in their associations they are guided altogether by their own, pre-possessions. The convict servants of the lower classes of settlers inhabit the same houses, and frequently the same apartments as their masters.

The general appearance of the convicts in the service of the settlers, and the interior of their huts, showed that they possess neither habits of cleanliness nor order.

The article of soap is not one of those that a settler is compelled to furnish; and it is not often purchased by the convict out of his wages.

The scarcity of water on many of the estates in New South Wales, and the distance from which it is frequently to be procured, contribute, in some measure, to the want of cleanliness in the convicts.

Sydney Gazette, 10 Sept. 1814.]

Influenced by a very laudable desire to introduce amongst those assigned to settlers some degree of attention to the observance of religious duties, and to connect with it some attention to the regularity and cleanliness of their personal appearance, Governor Macquarrie issued a proclamation in the year 1814, wherein it was ordered that the convicts in each district, as well as the men who held tickets of leave, should be mustered on every Sunday morning at ten o'clock, in some central place in the district, to be appointed by the magistrate, and that the constables of the district should muster them, and report to the magistrates, on the following day, the absence of any convict without a just excuse, his disorderly conduct, or his uncleanly appearance.

The governor also expressed an expectation that the magistrates would, on some occasions, personally attend to these duties themselves.

In those districts where the place of muster was, or could be held within three miles of any church, the convicts were ordered to attend divine service there, and if it happened to be at a greater distance, they were to be dismissed to their own homes, after answering to their names, and to such inquiry as the constables might choose to make.

This proclamation included several other regulations for the police of the country districts, and for the more general information of the inhabitants, it was ordered to be read in the churches by the different chaplains. To the good intention with which this proclamation was framed, I found no person who was not ready to bear testimony; but of its effect upon the conduct of the convicts, some doubt and difference of opinion has long, and still does prevail.

At an earlier period the Rev. Mr. Marsden and Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, then acting magistrates for the town and districts of Paramatta, had been so strongly impressed with the mischievous consequences of collecting together in one place so many convicts, and placing them under no better control than the constables of the districts, that they ceased to give effect to the governor's proclamation, in the over which they presided as magistrates.

These effects had been represented, and made the subject of complaint to your Lordship by Mr. Bayley, a settler in New South Wales, who enjoyed the confidence and friendship of the Rev. Mr. Marsden. Your Lordship having been pleased to refer the matters stated in this complaint to Governor Macquarrie, a circular letter was addressed by his secretary to the magistrates, requesting their information and report upon the effects of the Sunday musters; a considerable majority of the magistrates reported that these musters had produced a favourable effect upon the convicts; but Mr. Marsden was of opinion, that this effect was confined to places where the convicts had an opportunity of attending divine service, and that their meetings on Sundays, in the presence and at the houses of the district constables, only led to protracted absence from the houses of their masters, and to debauchery and licentiousness elsewhere. Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur considered that although these mischievous consequences were leis sensibly felt in places where the convicts could attend divine worship, yet that their association and meeting with dissolute characters at the muster had led them to form improper connections there, and that the Sunday muster had not been productive of any visible benefit.

The opinion of the chief constable of the Windsor district is equally unfavourable to it as a measure of police, grounded upon the opportunities that it affords to the convicts for combining together and forming plans of criminal enter prize; it is obvious moreover, that whenever the muster is carelessly executed by the district constable, or where he fails to make his report of the absentees, or ill conducted convicts, to the magistrates on the following day, it is much more likely to be attended with mischief than with advantage; and that whatever may be the vigilance of the constable, it affords a pretext to the convict for absence from his master's estate, that may, and often has been used to the prejudice of both.

The good effects that this weekly muster has produced, have been found to consist in the more cleanly appearance of the convicts, and in the opportunities that it affords to them of making known any deficiency of their allowance of clothing, or any other complaint that they may have to make, for it is through the district constables that these complaints are directed to be made; and it also affords to the same officer an opportunity of becoming better acquainted with the persons as well as the conduct of the convicts in his district, and of better determining the references that are frequently made to him by the magistrates, upon local and disputed points of wages and labour.

From the information that I received upon this subject, I am of opinion that the Sunday musters of the convicts, if strictly attended to by the magistrates of New South Wales, may be productive of great advantage, but that the character of the is district constables in the colony is not such as to justify a belief that the regulations intrusted to them can be either faithfully or accurately performed.

The repeated proofs that Mr. Marsden and Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur had received of the mischievous consequences of holding the Sunday musters in the town and districts over which they presided, had induced them to relax their attention to it; and it is not to be supposed that any good consequences would ever arise from collecting so many convict servants in the town of Paramatta on Sundays, even with the advantage that they there possessed of attending divine service.

The temptations to dissipation and indulgence, that this town is well known to afford to them, formed at once a decisive objection to holding any assemblage of them here at any time, and under any circumstances. Strong as these objections might have appeared to a full and literal compliance with the proclamation of Governor Macquarrie by Mr. Marsden and Mr. M‘Arthur, there existed no reason that it prevented those gentlemen from communicating to him the observations that their Id experience had suggested respecting it; and certainly none that warranted them, without such communication, to exercise their own discretion in relaxing the operation of a public order which they had been enjoined to enforce, and which the governor had considered to be useful.

A censure upon these magistrates for their neglect in enforcing the proclamation was publicly given by Governor Macquarrie, in an order that appeared in the Sydney Gazette on the 7th February 1818, and some further regulations were made for giving greater facility to the musters in the different districts. I found that this regulation was, in many of them, in very incomplete execution; and that this circumstance was more to be attributed to the general state of inefficiency of the police in New South Wales than to the unfavourable effects of the measure.

Sydney Gazette, 18 August 1822.]

At Paramatta, and in the districts of the Hawkesbury, the Sunday musters have been much neglected; but in the districts of Evan, Cooke and Bringelly, and at Liverpool, they were observed with some regularity, and, as the magistrates informed me, with considerable advantage. The convicts assigned to settlers are not allowed to travel from one district to another without a pass, signed by a magistrate, and their names, as well as those of the settlers to whom they are assigned, are directed to be registered in a book kept by the chief constable of each district; and the changes that occur in their destination ought likewise to be noted there. A pass, signed by the master of a convict, is requisite to enable him to travel to any part of his own district on his master's business; but it is not now required, when he is sent to Sydney market, nor in any case is the pass directed to be shown to the chief constable of Sydney, or the principal superintendent there, but is addressed to all whom it may concern.

These regulations are as necessary at the present period as they were at that of their first promulgation in the colony; but they do not seem to be in as active operation as they were then, or as they are now in Van Dieman's Land; nor is the detailed exactness that they require either so well understood or performed as it is in that settlement.

The principal causes of this defect appears to me to have proceeded from the want of a general superintendence of the police of New South Wales by one person, to whom the magistrates of the different districts should address their returns of the distribution and changes of the convicts, and to whom all passes given to convicts should be directed and shown. It is also to be attributed to the great increase of the convict population, beyond the demands of settlers who were in a condition to maintain, employ, and control them. Much also is justly attributed to the relaxed state of labour and discipline that prevails amongst the convicts in the employ of government, and the general preference that is given to it by them over the service of the settlers.

Authority and jurisdiction of the Magistrates, and appointment of those that had been Convicts.]

The jurisdiction of most of the magistrates in New South Wales, until the 3d February 1821, was limited by the terms of their commissions to particular districts; and partly by appointment, and partly by tacit acknowledgment and seniority, four of them had acquired a kind of special control, independent of, but not inconsistent with the terms of their commissions.

That of Mr. Wentworth's was an exception, for he was specially charged with the police of Sydney; but the Rev. Mr. Marsden exercised a similar jurisdiction at Paramatta, which, on his retirement from the magistracy, devolved upon Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur; Mr. Cox was considered the principal magistrate in the Hawkesbury districts and at Windsor; and Mr. Moore at Liverpool. The duties of these magistrates have latterly so much increased, that their attendance at Paramatta, Windsor and Liverpool, which was in the year 1818 only twice in the week, is now required on three or four days, and that of the police magistrate of Sydney is on every day, and sometimes protracted to a late hour. The bench of magistrates at Sydney consisted of Mr. Minchin, the superintendent of police, who succeeded Mr. a Wentworth in the month of March 1820, Captain Piper, Mr. Brookes, and Mr. J. Lord; Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde sometimes gave his attendance at Sydney, and upon these occasions acted as chairman; and Mr. T. F. Campbell, the governor's secretary has upon very few occasions assisted. Lieutenant-governor Erskine also received a commission as magistrate of the territory, upon his arrival in the colony with the 48th regiment, but has never acted either at Sydney, where he resided, nor at any other place.

Mr. J. Goulburn, the colonial secretary, Mr. Riley, and Mr. M'Vitie, were added to the number of the magistrates at Sydney previous to my departure.

Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, Mr. Harris, and Mr. D. Wentworth, after his resignation of the superintendence of the police of Sydney, composed the bench at Paramatta, and Mr. Justice Field gave them his assistance on Saturdays. Mr. Cox, Mr. Mileham, Captain Brabyn, and Lieutenant Bell, formed that at Windsor; and Sir John Jamieson, and the Rev. Mr. Fulton, acted as magistrates for the district of Evan, including that of Castlereagh. Mr. Moore, twisted occasionally by Mr. Brookes and Mr. Broughton, and at one period by Mr. Redfern, at Liverpool; and Mr. Lowe and Mr. Howe, in the districts of Bringelly and Cooke, on the river Nepean. Lieutenant Lawson, as commandant of the Bathurst station, exercised a magisterial jurisdiction over the district that lies between that settlement and the Nepean river, which has latterly been extended, together with that of the other magistrates of the colony, to the whole settled districts of New South Wales.

Considering the great annual increase that took place in the convict population of New South Wales, from the year 1815 to the year 1819, it is to be regretted that Governor Macquarrie did not think fit to make any more considerable addition to the numbers of the local magistracy, than those of Mr. Brookes and Mr. Lowe, until the commencement of the latter year; and that the exercise of his authority in selecting the magistrates upon some occasions, as well as dismissing one of them on another, has both diminished the respectability of the magisterial office in the colony, and has deprived it of the assistance of a very valuable and efficient member. The appointments to which I now allude, are those of Andrew Thompson and Simon Lord; the first of these having taken place on the 12th January 1810, and the second on or about the 3d August of that year.

Both of these persons had been convicts, but had arrived in the colony when they were young.

From the account of the executor of A. Thomson, it appears that he was a native of Scotland, and that his relations there were itinerant traders in goods. He was transported to New South Wales at the age of 16, and on his first arrival in the colony, served as a labourer in the stone-masons gang at Paramatta. On the expiration of his sentence, he went to Windsor to reside as a settler, and he there engaged in business as a retail shop keeper, and built some small vessels, in which he traded to Sydney. He also became superintendent of some of the convict labourers in the employ of government at Windsor. In all these occupations he was successful; his trade extended; he became possessed of farms; and made an establishment for the manufacture of salt, on a small island at the mouth of the river Hawkesbury, where he also continued to build small vessels; it was here, and on the banks of the river, that, according to the accounts o several persons whom I found at Windsor, Andrew Thompson carried on the illicit distillation of spirits.

To his other employments, he added those of constable and public house keeper, and through liberal credit and forbearance, he acquired a great deal of influence amongst the class of smaller settlers in the neighbouring districts of the Hawkesbury. To a considerable share of natural shrewdness he added great activity of mind and body, and though quite uneducated when he arrived in the colony, he succeeded afterwards in acquiring the ordinary knowledge of a retail shop keeper.

His conduct in these several capacities is considered to have been correct; but the habits of his domestic life were immoral. His humanity in affording relief to the settlers, whose lands and houses had been inundated upon two occasions by sudden rises of the river Hawkesbury, has been much noticed and eulogized by Governor Macquarrie, in an epitaph that he caused to be placed upon his tomb-stone in the church yard at Windsor.

In this act, in which it has been said that there were mixed motives of humanity, in endeavouring to give relief to the unfortunate settlers, and of self interest in supplying them with his own goods, A. Thomson derived some assistance from the boats and convicts in the employ of government, that were then under his superintendence at Windsor.

His activity upon this occasion is undeniable; but his claims to the praise of great humanity, are more questionable.

I have been induced to make these observations upon the character and conduct of A. Thomson, not from any wish to detract from his merit as an individual, but because it is stated by Governor Macquarrie, in the epitaph before alluded to, that "it was in consequence of his character and conduct that he appointed him to be a magistrate of the colony, and that by the same act, he restored him to that rank in society which he had lost." These circumstances are also of still further importance, as the appointment of A. Thomson to the magistracy, was one of those acts of Governor Macquarrie that has been urged most strongly against him by his enemies, and has been most questioned by his friends.

In his inquiry respecting the conduct of the leading individuals in the colony, Governor Macquarrie, on his arrival, applied to Lieutenant-colonel Foveaux for information, and from him received a strong representation of the merits of A. Thomson, both as an individual, and an active and intelligent chief constable. I do not find however, that this recommendation reached the length of stating him to have been fit for the office of magistrate; certain it is, that the class of individuals to whom A. Thomson belonged, had been considered and treated by Lieutenant-colonel Foveaux in the same reserved and distant manner in which the civil and military officers of the colony had always regarded them.

A. Thomson had suffered some injury from the persons who succeeded to the government, on the suspension of Governor Bligh, and his fidelity to the legitimate authority of that officer haul made him an object of their dislike and suspicion. The same circumstances furnished an additional and just ground of recommendation of him to Governor Macquarrie, who, in executing the commands of his Sovereign to restore the legitimate authority that had been violated in the person of his predecessor, naturally looked towards those individuals who had remained stedfast in their loyalty and obedience.

It must be acknowledged, that the number of these persons was small, and when Governor Macquarrie succeeded to the command in January 1810, Mr. George Palmer and Mr. Arndall were the only persons who resided at, or in the immediate neighbourhood of Windsor, who were eligible to the office of magistrate, or competent to perform its duties. An offer of the magistracy was made to Lieutenant Bell, who was an officer in the 102d regiment, and who, though not directly implicated in the charge of mutiny against Governor high, had, in obedience to the orders of the commanding officer, led the detachment of the regiment that made Governor Bligh prisoner in the government house at Sydney. The conduct and character of Lieutenant Bell were in all other respects unimpeached. He was solicited by Governor Macquarrie to act as magistrate for the Windsor district, in conjunction with A. Thomson, and he did not positively decline it. He however felt so strong an objection to act in such a capacity with a person, for an accidental association with whom, only a few months before, he had been called to account, and reprimanded by his commanding officer, Colonel Johnstone, that he availed himself of an early excuse for returning to his estate in the neighbourhood, and afterwards was sent to England to give evidence on Colonel Johnstone's trial.

Although the number of candidates for the magisterial duties was thus limited, it was rather surprising that Governor Macquarrie did not select some one of the officers of his own regiment, who in the military command at Windsor might also have executed the duties of the magistracy, rather than appoint at such an early period of his administration Andrew Thomson, who was the first of the class of convicts, that after expiration of sentence, had ever been so distinguished since the establishment of the colony, and whose elevation to the bench of magistrates proclaimed a very abrupt change in its system, by a person who could not then be supposed to have much knowledge of its interests.

The second reason alleged by Governor Macquarrie for this appointment, was the restoration of A. Thomson to that rank in society that he had lost by conviction for crime, and transportation to New South Wales. Now, it has been seen, that the condition of the parents of A. Thomson, and his rink in society before conviction, were exceedingly humble, and that his own efforts and industry in the colony had already placed him above that condition, when he was made chief constable of the district of Windsor, and became a possessor of houses in the town, and of estates in the neighbourhood; and, if even this appointment had the effect of raising him to that rank in society that he had lost, (though in point of fact it had that of raising him greatly above it) some consideration was surely due to the feelings of those magistrates, as well as that society, who, with the knowledge that they possessed of his recent situation, could not but regard the unsolicited return of this lost member to his rank and place amongst them, as a degradation of their own. Andrew Thomson, notwithstanding, was thenceforth admitted to the table of Governor Macquarrie, and to that of the officers of the 73d regiment, by a change of regulation, but not of feeling in the military body, that was no less remarkable than the change that had taken place in the sentiments of the civil chief. A. Thomson did not long enjoy these honours, for he died in the month of October of the same year in which he was made a magistrate; and it is only just to state, that an address from the inhabitants of the Windsor district was presented to Governor Macquarrie upon this occasion, in which they expressed their regret for the loss of Mr. A. Thompson, whom they described "as their common friend and patron."

The next instance of the elevation to the magistracy of a person who had been a convict, was that of Mr. S. Lord. He, like A. Thomson, had been transported to the colony when young, and at first was assigned as a servant to Captain Rowley of the 102d regiment.

He afterwards lived with a female convict who had some property in Sydney, and by the profits of her trade in baking, and by his own industry, he acquired sufficient means to embark in larger speculations; these he conducted with some success both to India and in the South Sea fisheries. It was at the period when his undertakings were most successful that Governor Macquarrie arrived, and found him in the possession of one of the best houses in Sydney. The circumstances of Mr. Lord's domestic life were very notorious in the colony at the time of his appointment to the magistracy, and the public animadversions that were made in the Sydney Gazette, upon several attempts, which on investigation appeared to have been made by him to seduce two of the girls of the orphan school at Sydney, added to the general feeling of surprize with which Mr. Lord's elevation to the magistracy was viewed in the colony, although these animadversions did not positively charge him with the crime. Mr. Lord continued to act as magistrate at Sydney for some time, and no objection appears to have been made to an association with him by any other person than the Rev. Mr. Marsden.

This gentleman had refused to act with Mr. Lord and Mr. Thomson as trustees of a turnpike road, to which office they had been appointed by Governor Macquarrie, and without any previous intimation to Mr. Marsden.

His reasons for this objection were founded upon the immorality of their private lives; and the notoriety of that fact does appear to me to have justified Mr. Marsden's refusal to be associated with them in the management of the public roads; a duty which would necessarily bring them much together, and which might have the effect of showing to the colony that Mr. Marsden associated with them from choice as well as from duty.

Mr. Marsden's objections to the policy of appointing men who had been convicts to the magistracy, had at an early period become the subject of discussion with Governor Macquarrie, who appears even at that time to have so fully convinced himself of the propriety and expediency of such appointments, that he could not tolerate any difference of opinion upon it, though proceeding from a person so respectable and so well informed as Mr. Marsden. The account that he has given of his interview with Governor Macquarrie, in which this subject was first discussed, is strongly illustrative of the feelings that have subsequently influenced, and unfortunately divided them, upon many others.

In the expressions of Governor Macquarrie, there may be traced that determination which he has never relinquished under any circumstances, of adhering to a system recommended more by motives of humanity than of reason, and as new as it was hazardous in practice; and, in the language of Mr. Marsden there is observable the same undaunted and inflexible spirit that he afterwards displayed, whenever an attempt was made to do violence to his feelings, or to wound his character.

Upon this occasion, it does not appear that those feelings were partaken by the other magistrates of the colony, nor by those who sat upon the same bench with Mr. Lord at Sydney.

Without stating that his elevation to that rank has had a positive influence upon his subsequent conduct, it is only justice to him to state, that his former irregularities have been latterly redeemed by the respectability of his domestic life. Mr. Lord, after his appointment to the magistracy, became an auctioneer in the town of Sydney; but the business was at first conducted by his partner, Mr. Williams, a free person, and late cashier of the bank of New South Wales, and latterly by Mr. Lord himself. This duty has necessarily brought him into contact with a very low description of people in the town of Sydney. He has, however, been much trusted by the consignees of cargoes in the disposal of them. His house, as well as his table, have been much resorted to by the individuals who have had this sort of business to transact; and his general usefulness as an agent, and his activity in mercantile pursuits, have operated favourably amongst those who were strangers to the colony, in removing the objections of his former condition. Mr. Lord has for several years continued to act in the capacity of magistrate at Sydney, and was made a member of the Supreme Court, when it was opened by Mr. J. Field in the year 1817. In the performance of these duties, he has exhibited a good deal of natural sagacity and shrewdness; but his want of education, and of feelings of self-respect, have, on more than one occasion, exposed the magisterial office to contempt.

The occurrence that I had the honour of submitting to your Lordship, in the course of my discussion with Governor Macquarrie on the appointment of Mr. Redfern to the magistracy, afforded an instance of that fatal reference to former condition, that has appeared to me to be an almost insurmountable obstacle to the success of Governor Macquarrie's system of appointing this class of persons to the magistracy, when tried in a community like that of New South Wales.

The next person, from the same class, that was so distinguished by Governor Macquarrie, was the Rev. Mr. Fulton. He was transported by the sentence of a court martial in Ireland, during the rebellion; and on his arrival in New South Wales in the year 1800, was sent to Norfolk Island to officiate as chaplain. He returned to New South Wales in the year 1804, and performed the duties of chaplain at Sydney and Paramatta.

In the divisions that prevailed in the colony previous to the arrest of Governor Bligh, Mr. Fulton took no part; but happening to form one of his family when the person of the governor was menaced with violence, he courageously opposed himself to the military party that entered the house, and gave an example of courage and devotion to the authority of Governor Bligh, which, if partaken either by the Officer or his few adherents, would have spared him the humiliation of a personal arrest, and rescued his authority from the disgrace of open and violent suspension.

Mr. Fulton accompanied Governor Bligh to England, for the purpose of giving evidence upon the trial of Lieutenant-colonel Johnstone; and on his return to New South Wales in the year 1812, was appointed magistrate in the district of Castlereagh, where he has since resided, performing the duty of chaplain in that district, and conducting a school for the elementary and classical education of boys, that continued to be attended by most of the sons of the higher classes of the inhabitants of the colony, until the arrival of Lawrence Halloran, and the establishment of his school at Sydney. In the performance of his clerical and magisterial duties, Mr. Fulton has been diligent and respectable, and the sacred character with which he was invested, and in which he had been allowed to appear previous to his appointment to the magistracy, together with the nature of the offence for which he was transported, abated much of the objection that was felt on the appointments of Andrew Thomson and Simon Lord. For these reasons, although I consider that under other circumstances Mr. Fulton would not have been a valuable acquisition to the bench of magistrates in New South Wales, yet that his appointment was no discredit to it, and that his services in the remote district in which he resided, were, at the time of his appointment, and in the absence of any other competent person, desirable.

The next and last person of the same class appointed by Governor Macquarrie to the magistracy, was Mr. Redfern.

Your Lordship being in possession of the whole correspondence that took place between Governor Macquarrie and myself, upon the subject of this appointment, I will not again trouble you with a repetition of the arguments that I then unsuccessfully addressed to Governor Macquarrie, principally with a view of inducing him to suspend the appointment until I had an opportunity of taking your Lordship's pleasure respecting it; as however, that pleasure has now been signified, and Mr. Redfern's name has been left out of the new commission that Governor Macquarrie was directed to issue, on the accession of His present Majesty to the throne, I think it right to state how far the observations and objections that I made to this appointment at the early period of my commission, have been justified by the result.

In the course of my inquiry, I learnt from Mr. Redfern himself that he had been sentenced to death by a naval court martial, for being implicated in the mutiny at the Nore in the year 1797, and that the nature of his offence consisted in having verbally advised the leaders of the mutiny "to be more united amongst themselves". Mr. Redfern was at that time about 19 years of age, and had served for a few months as surgeon's first mate on board His Majesty's ship the Standard.

In consideration of his youth, his life was spared, and his sentence was commuted to transportation for life.

On his arrival in New South Wales, Mr. Redfern was sent to Norfolk Island, where he acted as assistant to the surgeon on the civil establishment, and was appointed in 1802 by Lieutenant-colonel Foveaux to act as surgeon there. In that year he also received from Governor King an absolute pardon; and his name appears in the Sydney Gazette of the 19th June 1803, amongst those upon whom that act of grace had been conferred. In the year 1804, Mr. Redfern was relieved by Mr. Wentworth, but continued to assist him and Mr. Conollan until the month of May 1808, when he accepted the situation of assistant surgeon at Sydney, under a local commission, conferred upon him by Lieutenant-colonel Foveaux, which, upon the strong recommendation made by that officer to Governor Macquarrie, on his arrival, was submitted to the consideration of His Majesty's government, and finally sanctioned by His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, and announced to the public in the Sydney Gazette of the 1st February 1812. Since that period Mr. Redfern has continued to act as assistant surgeon to the general hospital at Sydney, taking a very active part in its duties, and deriving at the same time considerable emolument from his private practice, which appears to have been more extensive and successful than that of any other medical practitioner in the colony. The nature and extent of these emoluments, and the source from which they proceeded, had been mentioned to nee before I had heard of Governor Macquarrie's intention of appointing Mr. Redfern to the magistracy; and as my attention was at that moment occupied by the investigation of another and more extensive subject, I had not then an opportunity of ascertaining the truth of the statement. In alluding to it, therefore, I limited the observation I made to Governor Macquarrie to a caution, against the immediate appointment of Mr. Redfern, and used it as an additional reason for suspending it. The circumstances attending this case are detailed, in the evidence of several witnesses who had acted in subordinate situations in the hospital during the period of Mr. Redfern's service; and it appears from their evidence, that he had for some time kept a dispensary in the house provided for him by government, near the hospital at Sydney, where he was in the habit of making up and dispensinq medicine for his private practice in the town, as well as for those of the civil officers whom he attended, and who have always been considered entitled to receive both medicine and attendance gratuitously. A practice had prevailed in the medical establishments in New South Wales, from the earliest period, of dispensing medicine from them, not only to convicts and to persons on the civil establishment, but to those who had ceased to be in any manner connected with them. Free persons of the higher classes were thus admitted to have their wants supplied from sources that were destined by His Majesty's government for the use of only one class; and the hospital stores have, according to Mr. Redfern's observation, been converted into general colonial dispensaries, to which, through the means of some of the medical officers, the inhabitants have had a constant but not gratuitous access, not only afforded at the expense of government, but to the prejudice of that class for whose special benefit these establishments were formed and maintained.

For admission of the poorer classes of free people to the colonial hospitals, an order from the governor was and is still considered to be requisite; but the same restriction does not appear to have accompanied the issue of medicine, when application was made for it at the hospital, and when the condition of the party seemed to justify the application. By means of this custom, the assistant surgeons have, in the course of their practice in the colony, administered considerable quantities of medicine from the colonial dispensaries, or rather from their own dispensaries, supplied from the government stores; and Mr. Redfern having had the largest share of private practice in the colony, and having never imported medicine on his own account, it is to be inferred that he partook more largely of the medical stores of government than any other person. A general inquiry into the circumstance and character of Mr. Redfern, that had been suggested by Governor Macquarrie's appointment of him to the magistracy, and the sight of a remarkably well cleared and well cultivated estate, that had attracted my notice in passing through the district of Airds, and which I was informed was his property, had certainly excited in my mind some suspicions of the possible abuse, that might have been made by him of this practice in the medical department, and this surprise was increased, when I found that Mr. Wentworth, the principal surgeon, had always abstained from the practice himself, or if he sent any orders for medicine, always returned an equivalent. Entries, it appears, were then made of the quantity of medicine taken, but this precaution was not adopted when it was conveyed in large quantities to the dispensary of Mr. Redfern. Whether the supplies of medicine thus made by him to the free inhabitants of the colony not entitled to receive it were gratuitous, or whether they constituted a distinct source of profit to him, though blended with the charges that be made for medical attendance, are points upon which I have not yet been able to come to a very satisfactory conclusion. It is stated by Mr. Henry Cowper, who was Mr. Redfern's apprentice, that although entries of the charges for medicine were made in Mr. Redfern's books, yet that in the account that he rendered to his patients, he charged them with attendance and medicines, and sometimes with medical attendance only.

Wishing to have further evidence upon this point, I sent for a person who had acted in the capacity of clerk in the dispensary of the general hospital at Sydney, and had afterwards been employed by Mr. Redfern to keep his private accounts. Upon his first examination, on the 16th December 1819, and when he was yet in the condition of a convict, he had declared before me that the prices of the medicine were charged by Mr. Redfern to his patients, and that they were entered in the ledger. Subsequently to this, and after he had received an emancipation from Governor Macquarrie, for which he had been recommended by Mr. Wentworth and Mr. Redfern, he found sufficient reason to alter this declaration, and he corrected his statement, by saying that neither the quantities nor the prices of the medicine were ever charged either in the accounts or the books. As I placed no confidence in this man's declarations, and afterwards discovered the reason for the change that had taken place in them; I addressed myself to Mr. Redfern, and required him to produce the private accounts of the medicine that he had supplied to individuals, having previously informed him of the charges that resulted from the information then before me. To this requisition I received a direct refusal; and as I considered that I had no authority to compel the production of these books, the question of the profit thus made by Mr. Redfern in the appropriation of the medical stores of government for several years was left and still rests upon the testimony of Mr. Henry Cowper, who had frequently seen the books, and whose testimony is confirmed rather than contradicted by that of a prevaricating convict, corrupted by the emancipation that he had received, and who had himself made the entries in them; and finally, it rests upon the refusal of Mr. Redfern to produce his books, and his offer to return the medicines thus disposed of, if His Majesty's government should be of opinion that he had no right to convert to his own profit by sale, and without account, the supplies of medicine that were specially destined for the use of the convicts.

As to the nature of this appropriation, and whether under the pretence of making a more convenient supply to the wants of his patients, Mr. Redfern chose his own house rather than the dispensary of the hospital, I do not think it necessary now to observe, further than to state, that although the medicine was taken from the hospital stores without any note or memorandum of the quantities, yet I now believe there to have been no studied concealment in the mode or act of taking it; and that this profitable disposal of the property of government had continued to be made for several years by Mr. Redfern, with the knowledge of Mr. Wentworth, the principal surgeon, and without receiving from him either prohibition or remark.

The surprise that I felt upon first becoming acquainted with a practice that opened such a door to fraud, and that had been found to be so very prejudicial to the lower order of patients in the colonial hospital, by diminishing to them the supplies of the most useful medicines, was somewhat increased by the silence of Mr. Redfern under the first intimation that I personally made to him on the subject, accompanied as it was with some remarks, that were intended to convey to him the strong sense that I felt of the impropriety, not to say criminality, of the practice. The terms in which these remarks were conveyed, were made use of by Mr. Redfern as a pretext for not again personally appearing before me; and as I felt no wish to renew an inquiry into facts that appeared to be admitted, I allowed him to make his defence in writing to the charges that had resulted from them. These charges involved another point of professional duty, which he successfully answered; and two or three of personal conduct, for which Mr. Redfern considered himself responsible to the parties atone, and declined to afford me any explanation: the first of these points was that of unjustifiable severity in the punishment of his apprentice, Mr. Henry Cowper, and in the treatment of one of his convict servants; and the next was that of sending a very insulting letter to Mr. Bowman, the principal surgeon, who had succeeded to that office on the retirement of Mr. Wentworth, contrary to the expectations of Mr. Redfern, and to the recommendation of Governor Macquarrie. I was aware that these points bore reference only to the private and personal character of Mr. Redfern; but as I conceived that Governor Macquarrie, by raising him to the magistracy as well as by introducing him to his society, had, provoked and challenged inquiry into these as well as other points of Mr. Redfern's character, and that the whole conduct of one whose later years were supposed to have atoned for the acknowledged enormity of his former crime, might justly become a subject of my inquiry, I deemed it my duty to enter upon it, more especially as the point in question, if established, seemed to me to affect materially the wisdom of the appointment and selection of Mr. Redfern for the magisterial office in New South Wales; for it betrayed an irritability, or rather a violence of temper, both towards his inferiors and superiors, which, if displayed in that capacity, might be productive of serious injury to the district in which he was about to serve. It is admitted by Mr. Redfern that he chastised his apprentice, and it is admitted by. the latter that he deserved chastisement; but the severity and mode in which it was inflicted, both upon the apprentice and the convict servant, exceeded the bounds which the law has prescribed in the one case, and was a positive violation of an order long ago issued in, New South Wales, by which a master is prohibited from striking his convict servant.

The letter to Mr. Bowman was written at a period when the feelings of Mr. Redfern were smarting under the disappointment, in not succeeding Mr. Wentworth in the office of principal surgeon of the colony; and he appears to have taken an opportunity of indulging them, on having heard of Mr. Bowman's visit to the colonial hospital, and of his making inquiries concerning the patients there, before his appointment to the office had been notified in the Sydney Gazette, or that the change of officers had actually taken place.

It appears that one of the convicts that had been under Mr. Bowman's care in the John Barry, convict ship, from England to New South Wales, had been sent on his arrival to the general hospital at Sydney. Desirous of knowing how he was, Mr. Bowman had repaired to the hospital, but declined to enter it till he had seen. Mr. Wentworth, although he conceived that under the general admission that is given to all surgeons of the navy to visit the great medical establishments in England, the permission of Mr. Wentworth was not indispensable to enable him to view the colonial hospital at Sydney. As Mr. Wentworth was absent, and did not arrive at the hospital till Mr. Bowman had left it, he informed Mr. Cowper, who then acted as assistant surgeon, that if Mr. Bowman should call again at the hospital on the following day, and that if he wished to see it, he (Mr. Wentworth) would accompany him. It happened that Mr. Bowman called in Mr. Wentworth's absence, and as he found on inquiry, that Mr. Redfern was confined to his house by illness, he, without waiting for Mr. Wentworth, accompanied Mr. Cowper through the wards of the hospital. In the course of this visit he saw, and made some inquiry of his patient respecting his treatment, and then retired.

Upon information being given to Mr. Redfern of this visit, he addressed a letter to Mr. Bowman, which, considering the relative situation of the parties, he did not think himself called upon to notice, but in which, after assuming that the hospital was in his charge, and was to be considered to remain so until the change of officers took place, Mr. Redfern charges Mr. Bowman with having had recourse to insidious and unbecoming means for the purpose of obtaining the appointment to the office of principal surgeon, which Mr. Redfern, through the recommendation of Governor Macquarrie, had so anxiously expected to obtain.

Allowing for the irritation of feeling that a sense of these galling circumstances may have produced, I cannot admit that Mr. Redfern had any right to assume the exclusive control of the general hospital, when Mr. Wentworth was on the spot, or to dictate to a professional man, upon what terms he was to be admitted to it. The temper and character of Mr. Redfern are strongly illustrated in this, as well as another letter that he addressed to Mr. Bowman, on his succeeding to the charge of the general hospital, and they have received still further illustration from the several letters that he addressed to myself upon the nature of my inquiries into his conduct, and the unsuccessful result of my interference in his appointment to the magistracy.

The result of these inquiries has confirmed me in the belief that I then and hive since entertained, that although Mr. Redfern's professional skill was acknowledged, and that, aided by great assiduity and good natural talents, he had overcome the want of early study and experience, yet, that the irritability of his temper constituted a well founded objection to his appointment to the magistracy. My objections, however, were not confined to this defect alone.

It had been the good, or as many persons in the colony have thought, the ill fortune of Mr. Redfern, to have been distinguished by a more than ordinary share, of the notice of Governor and Mrs. Macquarrie. The proofs that they had received of his professional merits, and his activity and zeal in the performance of his public duties, confirmed the recommendations that they had received of him from Major General Foveaux; and they conceived that Mr. Redfern was equally fit on other grounds to be admitted to their own society, as well as to be particularly pointed out to the notice of others.

Governor Macquarrie had, at a very early period of his administration, adopted a plan of introducing into society persons who had once been convicts, and whose subsequent good conduct had, in his opinion, atoned for their past errors; he considered that this plan was both practicable and expedient. In this belief he was much confirmed by the approbation bestowed upon it in the Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Transportation, that was presented to Parliament in the year 1812. As I shall have hereafter to consider the operation of this system in its general effects upon the convicts, and on the state of society in New South Wales, I will only now observe, that I believe the strong terms in which that approbation was conveyed, had a much more powerful influence upon Governor Macquarrie's subsequent conduct, than the salutary cautions contained in your Lordship's dispatch of the 3d February 1814; and that if he has erred in carrying a humane principle too far, he has done so under the belief that he was acting under the sanction of very high and respectable authority. With these impressions respecting the system, and the prepossessions in favour of the individual, Governor Macquarrie continued to give to Mr. Redfern, from the earliest periods, the full benefit of his notice and society both on public and private occasions.

The effect of this measure has been precisely the reverse of the expectation entertained by the Governor, as well as by the Parliamentary Committee. His determined adherence to his system, in favour of an individual by no means popular, has raised opposition to it, not so much from objection to the principle, but from the idea that an attempt was made to force its adoption. Another cause of this failure may be fairly attributed to the injudicious manner in which the attempt was made, and the peculiar feelings and situation of the persons upon whom it was tried.

Your Lordship being already acquainted with the nature of the discussions that took place between Governor Macquarrie and the officers of the 46th regiment of foot, during their residence at New South Wales, upon the subject of admitting persons who had been convicts to their society, I will not again repeat them.

The determination with which they had resisted all attempts to introduce Mr. Redfern to their society, while they formed part of the garrison, continued unabated to the period of their departure.

Governor Macquarrie had some reason to believe that he should not find a greater degree of compliance in the corps that succeeded them, and that they would at once adopt the opinions that had guided their predecessors, and that may be supposed to belong to all bodies of men, careful of their honour, and keenly sensible to every attempt to sully it.

The officers of the 48th regiment were well acquainted with the discussions that had prevailed between the governor and the 46th regiment; and although they had not come to any previous or precise determination, as to the line of conduct they were to pursue, the general, but not the unanimous opinion of the officers, was against the admission of the obnoxious class to their society, on any terms. Soon after the arrival of the regiment at Sydney, the officers were invited on one public and several private occasions, to the government house, and they were there introduced to the Reverend Mr. Fulton as one of the chaplains of the colony, and to Mr. Redfern as one of the assistant surgeons. An effort was then made by Brigade Major Antill (which after the declarations of that officer and Governor Macquarrie, I am bound to consider as quite spontaneous on his part), to introduce Mr. Redfern to the officers of the 48th regiment.

Major Antill, accompanied by Mr. Redfern, called upon most of them, and with the exception of accompanied Erskine, Major Morissett, and Major Druitt, was denied admittance, under circumstances that must have been very painful to Mr. Redfern, and ought to have speedily convinced Major Antill of the bad effects of his injudicious friendship.

With the above mentioned exceptions, these visits were not returned, and no notice of Mr. Redfern was taken by the officers in meeting him again. From this period, the difference in the conduct of some of the officers of the regiment towards Mr. Redfern was very marked. Lieutenant-colonel Erskine, Major Morissett and Major Druitt, not only noticed Mr. Redfern at the governor's parties, but began to be constant visitors at his house.

Mr. Redfern was also invited by Colonel Erskine to private parties, and as his guest to the mess of the 48th regiment, and it was upon one of these occasions, that the junior officers of the regiment abruptly quitted the table, and in a manner that evidently betrayed their objection to Mr. Redfern, who was present, and who was known to be Lieutenant-colonel Erskine's guest. The consequence of this conduct of the junior officers, was the promulgation of a mess rule by Lieutenant-colonel. Erskine, requiring that no officer should quit the table until after the first thirds were drank.

These repeated rejections of Mr. Redfern on the part of the officers of the 48th regiment, having given reason to Governor Macquarrie to believe that they had imbibed, and meant to act upon the opinions of their predecessors, he took occasion at their first half-yearly inspection in January 1818, to warn them against following the example of the officers of the 46th regiment, and to express his hope that cordiality would prevail between himself and them.

He adverted to the practice that he had observed in admitting to his society persons who had been convicts, and is subsequent conduct seemed to him to have atoned for their offences, and although it was not his intention or wish to force the officers to an association with that class of persons, yet he expected that they would abstain from making improper remarks upon his practice, or the measures of his government.

In arranging the invitations for the public dinner that was given by the regiment on the same day, it had been determined, that it was not necessary for them, to ask any other person than those who composed the military suite of the general, and consisting then only of the brigade-major, and the aide-de-camp. No invitation, therefore, was sent by the officers to Mr. Redfern, who notwithstanding was invited by Lieutenant-colonel Erskine, and appeared at table as his guest, though in the suite of the governor. I am not aware that Mr. Redfern's visits to the mess of the 48th regiment were repeated after this occasion, although he frequently appeared at the government house afterwards, when the officers were invited.

The efforts of Governor Macquarrie to introduce Mr. Redfern into general society, have not been more successful with the civil officers and inhabitants of the colony, a circumstance that surprised me the more, as I conceived it most probable that his professional claims and merits would have obtained for him a general admission to those families, who might have excluded him upon other grounds. I do not find, however, that this was the case, and I have reason to believe, as well from personal observation of Mr. Redfern's general demeanour, as from other sources of information, that his conduct in company, and even amongst those who were strangers to his situation, was both forward and obtrusive, and betrayed an entire forgetfulness in himself, of that occurrence in his life, which he will find it difficult to erase from the memory or feelings of others.

It is this difficulty, varying in degree with men and with their opinions, that constitutes the formidable impediment, to the efforts of Governor Macquarrie to bring back into society, not only the individual in question, but all other persons who have been once rendered infamous, either by their sentence or their crimes, I am far from blaming his motives or his attempt, though I may not approve his measures for giving effect to them; but if this difficulty is felt, in obtaining the admission of such persons to society, how much greater must it be in raising them to the functions and the honours of the magistracy, without diminishing that respect for the law and for its dispensers, which it is so important in every country to uphold. It is not enough for this purpose that an individual should have been prosperous in trade, that he should have been skilful in surgery, or dexterous in the art of acquiring wealth and influence; his pretensions should be founded on some less equivocal and more moral basis; or on one, in the acknowledgment of which a large majority of the world will acquiesce. Instances certainly may arise, in which such claims may be united; but, with the exception I have before made, in favour of the sacred character and functions of the Rev. Mr. Fulton, I do not think that any of the persons of this class whom Governor Macquarrie has selected for the magistracy in New South Wales have possessed such pretensions; and I cannot help submitting to your Lordship as my opinion, that these appointments were unnecessary, that they produced no good effect upon the parties themselves, and that they have lowered the respect and estimation of the magisterial office.

The particular circumstances of Mr. Redfern's case tended further to excite feelings no less prejudicial to its character. That part of the colony, that was most favourable to Mr. Redfern, attributed the appointment to the sympathy of Governor Macquarrie in Mr. Redfern's disappointment for the loss of the situation of principal surgeon, and to which, I believe, there are many, who would have gladly seen him succeed; but although these persons might sympathize with his disappointment, yet they could not help feeling that the nature of the compensation was unjust: if it was to stand in the place of a profitable exercise of his profession as assistant surgeon, an additional grant of land, or a larger portion of the colonial indulgences, would have more substantially proved the sympathy of Governor Macquarrie, and the readiness of the government to reward with liberality the services and merits of us, public servants, from whatever class of the community they had been taken but, if it was to compensate for want of rank, or to gratify an ambition much encouraged and cherished of obtaining a higher, then indeed the appointment of Mr. Redfern was still more objectionable; for his elevation to the magistracy proved, that by a sudden exertion of his own power, the governor was determined to procure for Mr. Redfern a much higher rank than your Lordship was inclined to bestow upon him; and to force hint upon 8 society which, in spite of ten years of the governor's influence and example, had pronounced his exclusion. The appointment then assumed the appearance of a triumph of power over opinion; and it equally became a violation of that salutary instruction of your Lordship, by which Governor Macquarrie was enjoined to abstain from the use of authority or force, in a case where it is clear that influence and example had already failed, and where, it is equally clear, that they are the only means that can be used.

It was upon a view of these circumstances, in combination, but more especially upon the acknowledgment made to me by Governor Macquarrie, that his principal reasons for appointing Mr. Redfern to the magistracy, were to soothe his feelings for the disappointment occasioned by your Lordship's appointment of Mr. Bowman, and to fulfil a promise that he had unwarily made him, that I felt it my duty to protest against the execution of it in favour of Mr. Redfern. It did appear to me then as it does now, that an act so manifestly at variance, as I conceived it to have been, with the tenor of your Lordship's instructions, and so prejudicial to the colonial interests, was not to be put in competition for a moment, with the personal feelings of any man, much less with those of Mr. Redfern.

Judging of Governor Macquarrie's sense of duty, by that which I trust has always influenced my own, my astonishment at his perseverance in a line so directly opposed to it, was only equalled, by that which I felt, in the sudden recal of an acquiescence that he had at first signified to me, then acted upon, and afterwards abandoned, in the short space of two days. I certainly then was not without apprehension, that this opposition to your Lordship's views and my suggestions, might be imputable to some new influence, of which till then I was not aware; and I felt a still greater degree of alarm and surprise, when I saw, that the terms of Mr. Redfern's appointment were enlarged from that of a district (to which I was informed by Governor Macquarrie they were to be limited) to the territory of New South Wales, which had the effect of giving to him rank and precedence over magistrates who had long served that office, and who had never been convicts, and of making a distinction as mortifying to them, as it was contrary to the principle of seniority, by which the magisterial rank is regulated in England.

These circumstances I have thought right to state in vindication of the earnest manner in which I addressed myself to Governor Macquarrie, in the correspondence that is now before your Lordship, and which, perhaps, under other circumstances, I should not have been justified in using. Before I quit this subject, I think it right to mention, that in consequence of the opinion entertained by Governor Macquarrie himself, of Mr. Lord, and of the discredit that his occupations as an auctioneer had brought upon the magisterial office, he had, with as much consideration as possible for his feelings, suggested the propriety of his resignation. Mr. Lord acquiesced in this suggestion, but as it was made at the commencement of my inquiries, he requested it might be postponed till they should be concluded, that he might not appear to the public to apprehend the consequences of any disclosures or information that might reach me.

In this suggestion Governor Macquarrie acquiesced; and Mr. Lord's resignation, in consequence of his bad state of health, was announced in a public order complimentary to him, and inserted in the Sydney Gazette, previous to the appearance of the new commission of the year 1821.

The next points in which the magisterial office has suffered in New South Wales, are the loss of the services of the Rev. Mr. Marsden, and the circumstances that attended his dismissal.

It is hardly necessary to state to your Lordship, the extensive knowledge that Mr. Marsden had necessarily acquired of the character and dispositions of the persons who most frequently came before the magistrates, and of the motives that influence them, by his long residence in the colony of New South Wales. In the guidance of this knowledge, he was assisted by a strong natural understanding, and in its application, by great sagacity and an intrepid and determined spirit. In the course of his duties he had shown himself to be equally active in the investigation and pursuit of crime, and had received the thanks of Governor Macquarrie for his services.

Without, however, impeaching the moral feelings of Mr. Marsden, and without stating it as my opinion that he has acted with undue severity, it is in proof, that his sentences are not only, in fact, more severe than those of the other magistrates, but that the general opinion of the colony is, that his character, as displayed in the administration of the penal law in New South Wales, is stamped with severity. I am far from entertaining an opinion that it forms part of Mr. Marsden's natural character; but I think that it has proceeded from the habitual contemplation of the depravity of the people that were brought before him; from the sense that he gradually acquired of the inefficiency of any other punishment than that which was severely and corporally felt by them; and the limitation that was imposed by an order of Governor Macquarrie's, which assigned a certain number only of delinquents for the chain gangs in each town. In accounting for Governor Macquarrie's motives in abruptly dismissing a magistrate, who, both by his own acknowledgment, and in that I believe of all the well judging persons in the community, was the most valuable in it, I think it necessary to refer to the circumstances that occurred in the interview that took place at the government house between Mr. Marsden and Governor Macquarrie, and that are detailed in a letter of Mr. Marsden's, that has been lately submitted to your Lordship's notice, the contents of which, I was assured by him, were never intended to meet the public eye, but which were represented to me by the Reverend Mr. Cowper, who attended at the interview, as being substantially true. Other interviews had taken place, between them, in which the language and want of temper displayed by Governor Macquarrie towards Mr. Marsden, considering the friendly terms upon which, for some time, they had continued to act, were much to be regretted, and are only, and have generally been attributed to the first and great difference of opinion, upon the unfortunate question of admitting persons who had been convicts to the honours of the magistracy, and to a belief that Governor Macquarrie entertained of Mr. Marsden having been the author of the statement respecting the state of the Paramatta factory, and the severity of punishments in the colony, that I have before adverted to; and which was transmitted to Sir Henry Bunbury, formerly under-secretary of state for the colonies, by Mr. Bailey. It is admitted now, that Mr. Bailey was the author of the statement; and from what I have already observed upon the state of the factory at Paramatta, and what I shall hereafter submit upon the subject of the colonial punishments, your Lordship will be enabled to judge how much of this statement was true. Mr. Bailey was in habits of intimacy and friendship with Mr. Marsden, and had been an eye witness of one of the circumstances that he stated, and most probably derived his knowledge of the others from their notoriety, and from the communications of Mr. Marsden. On reference, however, to Mr. Bailey's statement, your Lordship will find, that he mixes up a representation of personal, with local grievances, and that the latter derive much of the colouring that is given them, as well as their direction from that cause. Without any explanation, therefore, respecting the author, which seems to have been given at a late period, through the friendly interference of Mr. J. Field, mid with the other cause of disunion operating in his mind, Governor Macquarrie felt that he had some reason. to doubt the sincerity of Mr. Marsden's attachment to his administration, and that he had secretly conveyed information against it to your Lordship. The extreme severity of rebuke that was afterwards passed by Governor Macquarrie neon Mr. Marsden, and the indignity that accompanied it at the interview I have before alluded to, naturally produced in his mind a strong dislike to remain any longer in his situation of magistrate. Mr. Marsden was charged in that interview by Governor Macquarrie with opposition to his government, and with seditious practices. The opposition to these measures of his government consisted of Mr. Marsden's refusal to be associated In duty with two such persons as Andrew Thomson and Simon Lord, whom, in spite of the governor's opinion and notice, he still continued regard as immoral men; and of his objection to the admission of persons who had been convicts, into society as a principle; and his sedition appears to have consisted 110 in the act of taking the affidavit of a public flogger respecting the punishment of two free men, and the confinement of two free women in gaol, by order of if the governor, on the report only of the chief constable, who apprehended them. The particulars of this act of authority of the governor will be detailed in my remarks upon the colonial punishments; for the present, I will observe that it was one, which the best friends of Governor Macquarrie regretted, both on account of its violence and illegality, and for the just alarm that it excited even amongst those who thought and felt that silence was their most prudent course. To the persons who had already declared their opposition to the governor's measures, it was an act that furnished a specious and just ground of attack.

From a consciousness, perhaps, of having thus unwarily exposed himself to it, and that he was without defence, Governor Macquarrie from one error, only fell into another.

A petition to the House of Commons, in which a complaint of this, amongst other acts of his government, was inserted, had been drawn up, with the advice and assistance of Sir. J. Hart Bent, had been industriously circulated in the colony, and had obtained many signatures. The manner in which some of these were obtained, and the ingratitude that marked the conduct of some of that class of persons who had lately received emancipations from him (and on whose attachment he had vainly relied) excited in the mind of the governor feelings of warm and just indignation, and urged by these feelings he not only denounced their petition as seditious, infamous and false, but refused licences to two publicans of Sydney, for having allowed copies of it to remain at their houses for signature, and refused to give an additional grant of land to one of the most respectable of the whole class of emancipated convicts, who in a moment of intoxication, or ignorant enthusiasm, had affixed his mark to the petition.

It has been the misfortune of Governor Macquarrie to receive from your Lordship a censure for this act, to the severity and justice of which, I feel that it would be indecorous in me, if it were possible, to attempt to add any thing; but I think it right to allude to it, as one amongst other proofs, of the impression, to which Governor Macquarrie has unfortunately too much yielded, that an attempt to expose an abuse of his authority, was an act of sedition. It was precisely under the strong influence of this notion, that Governor Macquarrie thought it necessary or advisable to listen to the verbal report of the gaoler of Sydney, and the evidence of the public flogger, from both of which he collected that Mr. Marsden had solicited the persons who had been punished, as well as the flogger, to come forward and declare the particulars before him. The fact of his having done so is negatived by the testimony of Blake, who declares that he was persuaded to make his declaration by several individuals who had felt alarm for themselves on account of this punishment; and by the testimony of Daniel Cubitt, whom Mr. Marsden emphatically describes as an "honest gaoler". The evidence of the public flogger before me, as well as that which he gave on oath before Mr. Campbell, the governor's secretary, would lead to the conclusion, that Mr. Marsden had sent for him to snake an affidavit, if his circumstances, at the time that he gave his first evidence, as well as his character, did not afford strong reasons for disbelieving him, especially when his declarations have been pointedly contradicted by those of Mr. Marsden, to which, unsolicited by me, he has thought fit to add the solemnity of an oath; and in as far as their knowledge and observation went, by the declarations of Mr. Campbell and Mr. Hooke.

Upon a review of the evidence of these persons, I have been compelled to come to a very different conclusion from that which Governor Macquarrie adopted, respecting the part that Mr. Marsden took in this transaction, as I consider that the utmost that he did was to take the affidavit or the public flogger respecting the fact of the punishment; an act, that any magistrate would have been as competent to perform whether in his district or out of it, and for the effect or object of which, he could in no wise be considered responsible.

The length of time that had elapsed after the punishment took place, makes it improbable that Mr. Marsden would have lent himself, at so late a period, to a party in the colony retaining hostility towards Governor Macquarrie, for acts that he had committed so long before, but that were always very notorious, and which Mr. Marsden must have known to have been perfectly within the knowledge of Mr. J. Hart Bent, and that through him, they would be submitted either to the notice of Parliament or of your Lordship. It was, however, under the impressions to which I have before alluded, as well as under a belief of the truth of this evidence, that Governor Macquarrie came to the resolution of taxing Mr. Marsden with the crimes Of sedition and mutiny in the presence of persons, who appeared to have been summoned for the purpose of increasing the measure of his humiliation, while their presence, though it did not intimidate him, does not appear to have had the effect of restraining, within ordinary bounds, the severity and personality of the governor's remarks.

I am not aware that Mr. Marsden has ever addressed any complaints to your Lordship upon the circumstances of this interview; and it is only to be wondered that he did not persist in the resolution that he had declared to Governor Macquarrie at the interview, of ceasing any longer to act as magistrate.

An occasion arose soon after this interview, which Mr. Marsden considered as a favourable opportunity of pressing his resignation: Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, in the month of March of the year 1818, had, upon a casual visit to the gaol at Paramatta, observed several prisoners in it who had been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment by the bench of magistrates at Paramatta, then consisting of the Rev. Mr. Marsden, and Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur. As Governor Macquarrie had requested the judge advocate, whenever he visited the gaols, to make a report to him of any thing that was worthy of remark in the conduct or cases of the prisoners, he took an opportunity after his visit, in which it appears that he had been accompanied by Mr. Marsden, to submit to Governor Macquarrie the names of those prisoners who had already suffered long imprisonment, under what appeared to him to be heavy sentences, and whom the governor might think fit objects of release, if he should deem expedient at all to relieve the gaol at that time from the number of prisoners that were in it.

The letter in which this representation was made, Governor Macquarrie was unable to find; it does not appear to have been accompanied with any observation from the judge advocate on the several cases of the prisoners, or of any disproportion of their punishments to their offences.

The suggestion of release, indeed, seemed to arise, not from any consideration of the crimes or punishments of the prisoners, but from the incapacity of the gaol to contain them, together with the many other prisoners then confined in it. The number then confined in the chain gang did not exceed 11; of these, several were sentenced to labour for twelve months, of which six, and in some instances more, had expired. They were drawn out for the inspection of the judge advocate, who received information from Mr. Marsden and Mr. Oakes, the chief constable, as he went along, respecting their characters and crimes. The prisoners themselves, as usual, upon such occasions, represented to Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde the state of their punishments; but I cannot concur in the inference drawn by Mr. Marsden, that the judge advocate appeared to listen with more attention to the representation of the prisoners, than to those which he made. It is most probable that the representations of both were made with earnestness, as Mr. Marsden, in his account of the proceeding, states, that he represented them to the judge advocate to the most daring felons; and the prisoners, concluding that the judge advocate, in consequence of his inquiry, was invested with some superior authority that might tend to their release, would press as earnestly upon him the apparent hardships of their punishments.

I do not find, from the testimony of Mr. Oakes, who was present, that any observation fell from the judge advocate, on this occasion, that had the effect of throwing a slight or censure on the authority of Mr. Marsden as a magistrate, in his presence; and the part that he took in the release of the prisoners, had reference only to the state of the gaol, and not to the nature of their sentences.

A similar release of prisoners had taken place on several preceding occasions, by the simple authority of the governor, without reference to the magistrates; and although the accidental visit of the judge advocate to the gaol, in this instance, might have produced a belief in Mr. Marsden's mind, that his representations to the governor had given rise to the release of the prisoners whom he had sentenced to be confined, and that the government had sanctioned it in consequence of the impressions that he had received, and conveyed to your Lordship, of Mr. Marsden's severity, yet I cannot think that there was sufficient cause for Mr. Marsden to impute, either to the judge advocate an intention to insult him by any thing that he did, or any advice that he gave to Governor Macquarrie on this occasion, or to impute to the governor an intention of offering indignity to his magisterial character.

Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, who had joined with Mr. Marsden in passing the same sentences upon these prisoners, witnessed their release before the expiration of the terms of their punishments, without reference to himself, and did not conceive that airy insult was cast upon him by such an act.

That the effect of this act was to lower the estimation of the authority of the magistrates in the eyes of the prisoners, is certainly true; and it is further to be regretted, that if any of the prisoners were to be released, reference had not been made by Governor Macquarrie to those who had the best means of knowing their respective demerits, rather than to the judge advocate, who could only derive them from very suspicious sources; and that the same principle of consideration and forbearance that had prevented the governor from interfering with long sentences passed by Mr. Garling, when he acted as judge advocate, had not influenced him on this occasion.

Upon seeing the governor's warrant addressed to the chief constable of Paramatta, for the release of the prisoners who had been named by the judge advocate as fit to be discharged, Mr. Marsden forthwith addressed a letter to Governor Macquarrie, dated the 28th March 1818, in which he stated, "that under the existing circumstances he felt it a duty that he owed to himself to resign the office of civil magistrate", but made no reference to the nature of those circumstances.

To this letter Mr. Marsden received no answer; but in a few days afterwards he received a letter from Mr. J. T. Campbell, the governor's secretary, inclosing for his information and guidance, an attested copy of a government and general order, in which it was stated, "that his excellency the governor had been pleased to dispense with the services of the Reverend Samuel Marsden, as justice of the peace and magistrate at Paramatta, and its adjoining districts." In explanation of his conduct towards Mr. Marsden, in retaining him in the magistracy after he had accused him of the crimes of sedition and mutiny, and in spite of Mr. Marsden's wish to retire from it as well as for his abruptly declaring, by a public order, that be dispensed with his services as magistrate, when Mr. Marsden had declared that he could no longer act in that capacity, Governor Macquarrie has stated, that he was fully aware, that Mr. Marsden's resignation was tendered, with a view of giving him offence, and arose from a desire of annoyance to him and his government, and it was for these reasons that he preferred dispensing with Mr. Marsden's services.

The governor has not alluded to the circumstances from whence he collected this intention of Mr. Marsden, therefore, I can only presume that he derived it from the circumstance of Mr. Marsden's letter of resignation, having so nearly followed the abrupt release of the prisoners from the Paramatta gaol, without reference to himself. Now although this act of the governor, had not made the same impression upon the mind and feelings of Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, that it had done upon those of Mr. Marsden, that instances of it had occurred before, without offence being intended or taken, and that it was done in the exercise of the authority with which he is invested as governor, yet it cannot be denied that it was one which was calculated to wound the feelings of Mr. Marsden, when viewed by him in its connection with circumstances that had before transpired, respecting his conduct as a magistrate.

The power that Governor Macquarrie exercised of retaining the services of Mr. Marsden, contrary to his expressed wish, affords a strong testimony of their value, although it was testimony extorted from him and accompanied with circumstances of humiliation to Mr. Marsden; but when the period arrived in which this wish of Mr. Marsden was repeated, and when the value of his services had increased rather than diminished, it would have been more consistent with the sense that Governor Macquarrie professed to have of that value, if he had refrained from the mortifying and humiliating communication, by which the public were informed that Mr. Marsden's services were dispensed with. The uniform tenor of Governor Macquarrie's communications, on the retirement of the colonial officers from their public situations, and the elaborate eulogies that have appeared from time to time in the Sydney Gazettes upon their personal and public merits, must have impressed the colony that had witnessed Mr. Marsden's services, and knew their value, with a belief that the laconic communication of the governor's pleasure, in dispensing with them, was intended to form a mortifying exception to every preceding occasion real dismissal accompanied with disgrace. Of retirement, and to give to that which was dispensation only, the appearance of a real dismissal accompanied with disgrace.

In endeavouring to trace the motives for the whole of Governor Macquarrie's conduct to Mr. Marsden on these occasions, either as they have appeared on inquiry from Governor Macquarrie or Mr. Marsden, or from other persons in the colony, I have only been able to assign two causes that can account for the peculiar severity of treatment with which Mr. Marsden, in his magisterial capacity, has been visited. First, an irreconcileable difference of opinion upon the question of raising certain persons, who had been convicts, to places of rank and confidence in the colony; and secondly, a suspicion that while Mr. Marsden was receiving hospitality and attention from the governor, and living upon terms of cordiality and friendship with him, he was secretly, and by indirect means or anonymous letters, denouncing the governor's administration to your Lordship. Upon the first point I would observe, that Mr. Marsden's opinions were more directed against the individuals than against the system, and that although he has felt less disposed than Governor Macquarrie to indulge sanguine expectations of the entire reform of convicts, yet he does not go so far as to think that those who are reformed should for ever be excluded from society. Mr. Marsden, it has been seen, maintained his own opinion with his characteristic firmness; and Governor Macquarrie, in replying to it with warmth, did not then foresee, and has never perceived since, the difficulty of enforcing a system founded upon a principle, that is right in the abstract, but which, in its application, has to conflict with every possible variety of human judgment and feeling. It has been another misfortune of Governor Macquarrie, not to make sufficient allowance for these varieties of opinion, and to consider those as opponents of his government who did not at once make a surrender of their judgment and feeling to his, upon that most delicate question, the estimate of moral character. In endeavouring to subdue that of Mr. Marsden, or to lead that of the military men, who have lately formed the garrison of Sydney, he plainly showed that he had made a bad calculation of the obstacles that might impede him. Other magistrates, and other officers, he has undoubtedly found of more ductile dispositions than Mr. Marsden, who manifested no disinclination, and felt no disgrace in a near association with persons who had been convicts, and of whose subsequent conduct and character they had formed a good opinion, or adopted that of Governor Macquarrie. I certainly cannot adduce any particular or positive instance of the undue favour of the governor bestowed upon those individuals who have met his views upon this subject, or of denial of that favour towards those who did not adopt them, and Mr. Marsden had no complaint to make of Governor Macquarrie's want of liberality towards him in dispensing the colonial indulgences. It is, however, the result of my inquiry and observations, that one of principal source of the disunion between Governor Macquarrie and Mr. Marsden has been their difference of opinion upon this topic, and that it has imperceptibly led the former to indulge that vehemence of expression and severity of rebuke in private interviews with Mr. Marsden, of which the latter has had so much and such just reason to complain.

Upon the second point I would observe, that Mr. Marsden had on one special occasion made a strong representation to Governor Macquarrie himself upon the state of the factory at Paramatta, and upon the still more deplorable state of the hospital at that place; but that observing that no measures were taken in the colony to remedy these evils, and that he had no influence in disposing the governor to apply any portion of his means to afford it, he abandoned the hope of producing any effect by personal or written communications to him; but I have not heard or known of any that he addressed to your Lordship on these subjects. He had previously remarked, in conversation to the governor, on the injudicious severity and length of certain punishments inflicted by the criminal courts of the colony, and warned him against the consequences of their being brought to public notice in England; and when the statement of Mr. Bayley, in which these circumstances were set forth, was transmitted by your Lordship as a charge against the governor's administration, suspicion then arose in his mind that Mr. Marsden was the author of the statement. It is, I conceive, upon this suspicion, and from an impatience natural to those in the possession of uncontrolled power, of any act that has a tendency to expose or repress what is wrong in its exercise, that Governor Macquarrie thenceforth regarded Mr. Marsden in the characters that he has imputed to him: first, of being a secret maligner and detractor; and, secondly, of being an open and avowed enemy. Admitting these charges against Mr. Marsden to be true (a conclusion to which neither my inquiries nor the evidence before me will warrant), they are, for offences, of a nature rather personal to Governor Macquarrie, and therefore more fitted for adjustment by private explanation; but they could not furnish an excuse for his frequent departure from the courtesies of language, that are usual in all official communications, or for wounding the feelings of an eminently useful magistrate, by casting an unmerited reflection upon the circumstances of his retirement.

In consequence of that retirement, in the month of March 1818, a great burthen of public business fell upon Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, and it was not till the early part of the year 1819 that any other addition was made to the number of magistrates. In consideration of these circumstances, and of the increasing population, it is matter of wonder, as well as of regret, that Governor Macquarrie did not sooner avail himself of the services of certain individuals in the colony, who would have made the duties of the local magistracy less onerous. This subject had been suggested, though not in an official shape, to Governor Macquarrie, by Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, who had further pointed out the names of Mr. Oxley, Mr. G. Palmer, Lieut. Bell, Mr. Harris, Sir John Jamieson, Mr. Edward Riley, and others, as highly deserving of such an appointment.

Of these gentlemen, all were qualified to discharge the duties of the magistracy; and the only one to whom the offer was made (Mr. G. Palmer), for certain personal considerations declined it. These gentlemen, as Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde has justly observed, would have supplied the want of assistance that existed for some time in the local management and correction of the convicts; whereby the aversion of masters to the trouble and inconvenience of resorting to their authority would have been greatly diminished, the discipline of the convicts would have been better. maintained, and the discretion exercised in directing that discipline would have been more extended.

The expediency of adding to the number of magistrates at Sydney was still more apparent, as after the departure of Mr. A. Riley and Mr. Broughton, there remained only Mr. S. Lord, and occasionally Mr. Brooks, to assist Mr. Wentworth in the weekly duties of the police, and to discharge the still more important duty of assistant member of the supreme court. After the discussion that had taken place between Mr. J. H. Bent and Governor Macquarrie, on the admission of persons who had been convicts to practice in the courts as attorneys, the negative that your Lordship has been pleased to give to their admission to the courts, and the little estimation in which the character of Mr. Lord was held, it was not without surprise that I found that he had been one of the first persons selected by Governor Macquarrie to sit on the bench of the supreme court with Mr. Justice Field at Sydney on his arrival: Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth was the other member of his court, and although the respect of Mr. Justice Field for the governor would at that moment have restrained him from making any objections to the nomination of Mr. Lord, if he had even been acquainted with the circumstances of his situation, yet he expressed to me the feelings of indignation with which he has since regarded this appointment, and the want of candour in Governor Macquarrie, in not sooner making him acquainted with the nature of it.

It appears that Captain Piper and Dr. Harris, who were appointed in 1819, were then resident in Sydney as well as Mr. E. Riley, and were in every point of view more fit for the discharge of the duties assigned to Mr. Lord. In the Windsor district, after the resignation of the Rev. Mr. Cartwright, the magistrates consisted of Mr. Cox, Mr. Mileham, and Captain Brabyn. The first of these gentlemen is not wanting in sagacity, or in many of the qualities that are essential in a magistrate who is to administer the law in New South Wales. At Windsor he was the senior magistrate, and assisted by Captain Brabyn and Mr. Mileham; the former, an officer of the Veteran Companies, and the latter the assistant surgeon on the colonial establishment. From the observations I was enabled to make of these individuals, it is no disparagement to them, to remark, that the addition of Lieutenant Bell (the person recommended by the judge advocate to Governor Macquarrie) was in every respect desirable; Lieutenant Bell now acts in the districts of Windsor, and that part of the Richmond district that is on the left bank of the river Nepean.

I have already had occasion to observe, that until the month of March 1820, the jurisdiction of many of the magistrates was limited by the terms of their commissions to certain districts, the boundaries of which not having been clearly defined, some of the magistrates had unknowingly exposed themselves to the consequences of acting without jurisdiction.

This inconvenience had more than once been suggested to Governor Macquarrie by Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, on his arrival; and on the appointment of Mr. Brookes to the magistracy, in the month or August 1817, when he was appointed a magistrate of the territory of New South Wales; but a limited district appointment was subsequently given to Captain Brabyn, and Mr. Howe and Lieutenant Bell were made magistrates of the county of Cumberland, while Sir John Jamieson, Captain Piper, Mr. Harris and Mr. Redfern, were made magistrates of the whole territory.

Governor Macquarrie did not thus think it expedient or necessary at that time to adopt the judge advocate's suggestion generally; and the jurisdictions of the magistrates remained in this unsettled state until the month of February 1820, when, without any litter communication with the judge advocate, than that which is just, now mentioned, Governor Macquarrie issued an order in the Sydney Gazette, in which "after stating that certain of the precepts constituting magistrates within the county of Cumberland, had not sufficiently distinctly expressed that they were intended for the county at large, as they should have done, whereby a doubt had arisen about the said commissions giving a jurisdiction beyond the limits of the particular districts wherein the magistrates happened to reside; his excellency the governor was pleased to notify to all persons concerned, that the magistrates holding such commissions of the peace, were to be deemed and considered the magistrates of the county of Cumberland; and that in all general meetings of the magistrates, they were to take rank and precedency according to the dates of their commissions."

It is to be regretted, that the nature and infrequency of Governor Macquarrie's official communications with Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, at the period of issuing this order, had not prevented the appearance of a document, which attributed to him and his predecessors, a want of professional attention to an object of such importance, as the terms of magisterial commissions. I do not think that such am intention is imputable to Governor Macquarrie, or his secretary, for a cursory perusal of the document itself, or those to which it referred, would satisfy any person, that the evil arising from the ambiguity of the terms of these commissions, and which it affected to regret, had not rested with the person who drew them up, but with the person who gave the directions; and Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde has satisfactorily proved, that in his time, the commissions were made out from, and strictly pursued, the directions of the governor himself. It was therefore from a defective principle of limitation, and not a defect in the terms of the commissions, or want of technicality, that the evil consequences of ambiguity had arisen. Thus the appointment of "the Reverend Henry Fulton, clerk, of Castlereagh, to be justice of the peace and magistrate for the township of Castlereagh and district of Evan, both in the county of Cumberland", could only imply that his jurisdiction was limited to those districts which were situated in that county. The terms of the appointment of Mr. Cox, designated him "to be a magistrate in the district of the Hawkesbury and county of Cumberland"; and those again of the appointment of Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, expressly limited his jurisdiction to the town of Paramatta and the adjoining districts, without mentioning the county.

Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde did not fail, at an early opportunity, after the appearance of the order, to point out to the governor, the inefficacy and incorrectness of such a proceeding, and of conferring such new and enlarged jurisdiction in any document less formal than that of a new commission.

The governor when convinced of his error, consented to adopt the recommendation of Mr. Wylde, and a corm fission was accordingly issued on the 31st March 1820, wherein all the magistrates whose jurisdiction had been hitherto limited, or supposed to be limited, to districts, received commissions for the whole county of Cumberland.

Till the appearance of the order of the 3d February 1820, it had been customary to assign rank and precedence to the magistrates in New South Wales on public occasions, according to the extent of their jurisdiction, and not according to the seniority of their commissions;—thus there were magistrates for the territory and its dependencies, magistrates for the territory only; magistrates for the county of Cumberland, and magistrates for the districts; but wizen, by the order of the 5th February 1820, the magistrates of the districts were elevated to the rank of magistrates of the county, and all were to take precedence according to the dates of their commissions, Governor Macquarrie yielded to the apprehensions of some of them, respecting this sudden annihilation of their rank, and recommended that although the rule of seniority should decide their places upon the bench, yet that on public occasions and ceremonies, rank should be accorded, first to those who were magistrates of the territory and its dependencies; secondly, to those who were magistrates of the territory only; and, thirdly, to those who were magistrates of the county of Cumberland.

Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde having advised Governor Macquarrie, in answer to an inquiry of his secretary, that such declaration of rank could not, with any propriety, be introduced into a precept, he proposed that a commission, including the names of the magistrates, to whom new and enlarged jurisdiction was given, should be published, which was accordingly done; and no reference being made to their rank or precedence, these points continued to be subject to the provisions of the order of the 3d February 1820, and which remaining unrepealed by any subsequent declaration (except to magistrates of the territory and its dependencies, only two in number, viz. Mr. J. T. Campbell and Mr. Minchin) forms the existing rule of their present precedence.

Control of Convicts in the Service of Settlers.

THE proceedings before the magistrates, against the convicts in the employ of government and settlers, as well as those holding tickets of leave, are taken upon oath; and rough minutes of the evidence are made by a clerk, which are afterwards entered in their books, together with the sentence inflicted. These books are called records, and they appear to have been kept with regularity, until the increase of business caused some arrear to take place in the entries of the proceedings, especially in those of Paramatta, Sydney and Windsor. I observed also that the entries in the police book at Sydney, that were in the handwriting of Mr. Robert Laythrop Murray who acted as clerk to the magistrates, and superintendent of police, until the month of February 1820, were very loosely made.

The nature of their business consists chiefly of examinations into the reports and informations of the constables, and the complaints made by the superintendents and the settlers against their convict servants for neglect of work, or for petty thefts. Capital offences, if attended with circumstances of atrocity or violence, are referred, with the examinations, to the consideration of the judge advocate but burglaries, robberies in dwelling-houses, and sometimes forgeries, are tried and punished by the magistrates, at their weekly meetings, when there is a full attendance.

The returns of offences brought before the magistrates of New South Wales, and the punishments inflicted by them, are contained in several documents of the Appendix. They exhibit an enumeration and description of the offences brought before the police magistrates of Sydney, from the 8th of May 1817 to the 31st December 1820; of the same particulars at Paramatta, from the 4th March 1815 to the 30th September 1820; of those at Windsor, from the 1st January 1818 to the 30th December 1820; of those in the district of Evan, from the 23d October 1819 (the date of the establishment of the bench there) to the 20th December 1820; and finally, those at Bathurst, from the 6th November 1819 to the 9th October 1820.

By an omission that was purely accidental, I did not receive a similar return of the offences and punishments at Liverpool, and I did not think it necessary to take a wider retrospect of those at Sydney, although the books were submitted to me by Mr. Wentworth, and appeared to have been kept with some regularity, together with an alphabetical reference to the names of the offending parties annexed to the annual record, which I did not observe in any of the other books. An abstract has been made from these several returns, showing the nature and number of the offences committed by convicts in the different districts in each year. The most remarkable circumstance to be collected from these documents, is the increase of crime that appears to have taken place in the town and districts of Sydney in the year 1820. The amount of the convict population there, as taken by the muster of the year 1819, was 4,231, of whom 527 were stated to be females. In the month of September 1820, the population of these districts, as collected by the magistrates, amounted to 4,437, of whom only 149 were stated to be females. This great decrease in the king le population, and the little increase in the male convict population, is chiefly attributable to the different manner in which the musters of the two years were taken. At the first, and indeed at many previous musters, with a view to meet the convenience of individuals, who had property at a distance and lived at Sydney, the returns of their convict servants were allowed to be made in the places where the masters either resided, or found it most convenient to present them, instead of being made in the districts where the convicts were actually employed; insomuch, that the numerical population of each district was not only in some instances swelled beyond its actual amount, but it also happened, that double returns having been made for the same convicts in different places, the numerical amount of the whole convict population has been further increased. The musters of the year 1820 were taken by the magistrates of the districts, and it was generally requested, that the returns of non-resident owners of estates, both of property and convicts, should be made in the districts in which they respectively were at the time; some difficulty occurred in inducing the inhabitants, even of the higher classes, to conform to this rule; and they persisted in making their returns at the places in which they had made them before, and that they found most convenient to themselves.

This circumstance, I believe to have occasioned the great difference in the amounts of the several classes of population in New South Wales, that is perceivable in the returns of 1819 and 1820, and which occasioned Governor Macquarrie to submit them again to the magistrates for revision in the early part of the year 1821. I have since received information, that an order was issued to that effect on the 17th March 1821, but the result has not yet reached me. Taking the numbers, however, as they appear on the returns, and allowing that the whole convict population in the district of Sydney, amounted in October 1819 to 4,231, the offences committed by convicts in that district, amounted to 642, and in the year 1820, when the convict population of the same district, as taken by the magistrates, amounted to 4,457, the offences committed by convicts, and punished by the magistrates amounted to 1,317, exclusive of those of a higher nature, and that were tried before the criminal courts. This augmentation has principally taken place in the offences of being absent without leave, or from the barracks, in attempts to cut out vessels, and to rob, in disorderly conduct and intoxication, in entering houses to steal, in the insolence of the convicts to their overseers, in the purchase and sale of slop-clothing, in running away, in rioting, and in stealing the property of government and of individuals.

The most numerous offences of convicts committed at Paramatta, are those of drunkenness, disobedience of orders, neglect of work, and stealing. At Windsor and in the adjoining districts, the offence termed bush-ranging, or absconding in the hooch, and living upon plunder, and the robbing of orchards, are the most prevalent and at Emu Plains, or the district of Evan, gambling, absence from work, insolence to overseers, neglect of work and stealing, are the most numerous offences. The difference before alluded to, between the number of offences brought to the notice of the police in the town of Sydney and neighbourhood, in the years 1819 and 1820, is to be attributed to a real increase in its convict population, that was much more considerable than that which is stated in the muster of the latter year, and also to a greater degree of vigilance and activity in the police of the town, after the appointment of Mr. Minchin to the superintendence of it.

I was not able to make a comparison of the number of convicts and their offences in any years preceding 1819, as I found on referring to the muster-books, that the number of convicts not victualled in each district, or rather those assigned to settlers, were not distinguished, but that they were included under the general head of "persons not victualled", and I was not able to learn their precise numbers from any other source.

In the years 1819 and 1820, however, these distinctions having been made, it a appears that the proportion of crimes to the convict population in the town and districts immediately adjoining Sydney, was that of one to six; in Paramatta and the adjoining districts, as of one to three; and at Windsor and the adjoining districts, one in nine; in the year 1820, the offences of the convicts in Sydney were as one to three; in Paramatta, as one to two, and in Windsor as one to eight.

From this statement (subject always to the incorrectness of the numbers of the convict population as returned in 1820), the evil consequences of employing convicts in towns, may fairly be collected.

The punishments of the convicts, inflicted by the magistrates, consist of confinement to additional labour at periods when other convicts are released, confinement to their barracks, solitary confinement in the cells of the different prisons and barracks, and flogging and removal to the Coal River, or as it is frequently called, Newcastle.

A magistrate acting alone, can only order corporal punishment to be inflicted to the amount of 50 lashes; and it was also customary to transport convicts to the Coal River under the same authority, for such term as his excellency the governor should assign. I found on my visit to the Coal River, that the commandant had no special instructions on the subject, but that this term was considered to be that of one year, subject to be shortened or extended according to the good behaviour of the party under it; and had been so considered by his predecessor. I found, however, that the indefinite nature of these sentences produced a feeling of despondency rather than of encouragement in the minds of the convicts who were suffering under it; and that the circumstances of the crime were not so much considered in the apportionment of this particular species of punishment as they ought to have been. I recommended to Governor Macquarrie, that the magistrates should be instructed in future to define in these sentences, the extent of the several terms of transportation to the Coal River, which was accordingly done; and now the concurrence of two magistrates, at least, is required for inflicting the punishment of transportation within the colony. The latter restriction has been little observed in Sydney in the Year 1820, in consequence of the insufficient attendance of the magistrates there, and the number of prisoners whom it was necessary to punish summarily. I also observe, that punishments of transportation have been ordered by Mr. Cox and Captain Brabyn, when acting alone at Windsor, on several occasions, and for sometime after the receipt of the governor's circular instruction.

It is the opinion of most of the magistrates, that the punishment of transportation of the convicts from the settled districts of New South Wales to the Coal River, is felt, and sometimes dreaded by them as a punishment; and that it succeeds in breaking dangerous and bad connections, but that it does not operate in reforming them. It is least effectual in its operation on the female convicts, who, from the difficulty of finding proper places of confinement and employment at the Coal River, and from the disproportion of the sexes there, obtain the means of enriching themselves by the connections that they form.

The particular employment and management of the convicts at the Coal River will form a separate branch of observation; at present I will remark, that considerable inconvenience arises in the management of that establishment, from the want of authority in the commandant to detain the prisoners, sent to the Coal River, under sentences of the magistrates, beyond the period of their original or English sentences; and as sufficient care had not been taken in the office of the governor's secretary, to transmit a statement of that fact along with the other particulars, the knowledge of it, as well as the detention of the party under the colonial sentence, was left to depend upon no better authority than his own recollection. Delay has sometimes been experienced in obtaining these particulars from Sydney; and from the apprehension of incurring the consequences of illegal detention, the commandant has yielded to the importunity of the parties with which he always was assailed, on the expiration of their original sentences, and has sent them back to Sydney upon the faith of their own statements.

I should submit that this is a defect in the state of the colonial punishments which it is material to remedy; for it is obvious that the tam of these, or any other punishments for time, must be frequently lost upon the convicts who were transported for short terms, and who commit offences in the colony, punishable by its magistrates, about the time that their original sentences may expire; and it will be necessary to have recourse to some legislative enactment, by virtue of which the operation punishments, inflicted by the magistrates in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land upon persons who were in the condition of convicts at the period of sentence, may continue, notwithstanding the expiration of their original sentences. The operation of such an enactment would form some security against the misconduct of convicts under short sentences, which is found to be considerably and disadvantageously affected by their approach to a state of freedom.

The limitation of corporal punishment of convicts by one magistrate to 50 lashes, has not been strictly observed; but I am not aware of any instances, during the last ten in which either that power, or the power exercised by two or more magistrates in inflicting an unlimited number, has been unduly exercised. They have in no case exceeded 100 lashes.

The corporal punishments inflicted by Mr. Wentworth, during the long period in which he held the office of superintendent of police, have never exceeded the limited number, and have generally fallen below it. It has been the opinion of many persons, that he has shown too much lenity in that respect; but he felt convinced, from his experience, that solitary confinement, and the privation of ordinary enjoyments, was a punishment more severely felt by convicts than the infliction of stripes. It has been also customary to order a greater number than were actually intended to be given, with a view to produce intimidation, and some promise of amendment; and both at Paramatta, Windsor, and Sydney, the corporal punishments, by means of bribes given to the Huggers, have never been, of late years, inflicted with severity. Those that have taken place at Paramatta, under the authority of Mr. Marsden and Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, have already been adverted to; and I think that the degree, in which they exceed the punishments of the other magistrates, is to be attributed partly to the individual feelings that these magistrates themselves have imbibed from the discipline of the earlier times of the colony; the necessity of endeavouring to overawe the convicts, in a place that afforded so much temptation to crime as the town of Paramatta, from the uncontrolled residence of the convict women; and further, to the want of more ample and effectual means of punishment than was afforded either by the cells of the gaol, or time chain gangs. The limitation, also, that was made by Governor Macquarrie's order, in the year 1814, to the numbers in each chain gang, made it necessary for them, as well as for other magistrates, to resort to other modes of punishment; and to avoid, as much as they could, the consequences of an overcrowded gaol. The chain gangs, if kept under strict control, might be made more effective than they are at present. At Sydney, the convicts condemned to work in them have been employed in loading and unloading the colonial vessels at the dock yard, and in levelling uneven ground; at Paramatta, their employment has consisted in performing any heavy work that was going forward, and in cleaning the streets; and at Windsor they have been employed in the same way. Their ration is the same as that of the convicts in the barracks, or in the employ of government. In the gaol at Sydney, one room and a yard, having a separate access to a back street, is appointed for the chain gang. In this room they dress their rations and sleep; and two convicts of the gang are allowed to attend and assist them in cooking and fetching wood and water, and keeping their room clean. Military guard beds have been placed in it, but they were generally destroyed or mutilated by the men themselves, through wanton mischief, as well as the the flagged floors on which they stand. Some of the convicts bring bedding with them into the gaol, and they gamble with each other for the use of it, as well as for their rations. The hours of work are the same as those of the other convicts; and the only difference is, that of working in chains separately, and sometimes together. The chain gangs at Paramatta have likewise a separate room in the gaol there, but it affords no effectual separation from the other convicts; and it has been of late very much crowded with prisoners. At Windsor, the accommodation afforded in the new gaol admits of greater separation; and a room, in which their food is prepared for them, has been lately added. Both at this town and at Paramatta the chain gangs are made to attend church on the Sundays, which is not the case at Sydney. Their dress has latterly consisted of party-coloured jackets and trowsers, to distinguish them from other convicts, and in pursuance of a general order of Governor Macquarrie, issued in the year 1814.

In the hours of work, the chain gangs at Sydney are more separated from the population of the town than those at Paramatta and Windsor; but their association in one room in the gaol, with no other control than that of an overseer who lives in the yard, encourages their disposition to gambling and mischief.

Quarterly returns of the offences and punishments inflicted by the magistrates, were required to be made to Governor Macquarrie since the year 1814, in pursuance of his order that has been before referred to; but I found that in the Windsor district this practice had latterly not been observed.

The regulation itself was highly useful; and if correctly made, and accompanied by a particular description of the several convicts that had been brought before the magistrates, would, when reduced to an alphabetical list, have furnished to Governor Macquarrie the safest guide in the future distribution of tickets of leave and emancipations, and have formed the best check upon the applications that are made for them. In the form in which these returns are made at present, no distinction is noted of offences of convicts who are in the service of government, and of those in the service of settlers; and none has been made in those of the Appendix, except in the returns from Paramatta, between the 24th January 1818 and the 30th September 1820; neither is any notice taken of the length of their sentences, nor the ships in which they came into the country, observations which are absolutely necessary, as points of future reference, to fix the identity of the convict when he becomes an applicant for indulgence.

The reports made from the criminal courts are equally deficient in giving these particulars, by which the means of forming a comparative judgment of the character and conduct of the different descriptions of convicts transported to the colony, is altogether lost.

It was the general opinion in New South Wales, that although the state of crime in the convict and general population had neither exceeded the proportionate augmentation that had taken place in it, or had been marked with such characters of atrocity and desperation as had distinguished the earlier periods of the colony, yet that the labouring classes of the convicts were not under such good control as formerly, and that although they were better fed, yet that their labour was not so severe.

These circumstances were more particularly observed by the older inhabitants of the colony, both by the class that had suffered, and by those that had profited by them. The character of the population, at those periods, had also much influence upon the state of discipline. The only distinctions that then prevailed in the condition of the inhabitants, consisted of that of free persons and convicts; and in the former (consisting of civil or military, or as it frequently happened, a compound of both) the convicts saw only a combination of physical and moral strength, and a monopolizing enjoyment of civil benefits, that inspired them with fear and with obedience; all external marks of deference and respect that the free people could devise were demanded and enforced from those of the convict classes. They are still required to be paid to civil and military officers, but not to persons who have not that rank.

The feelings of the individuals, who took a leading part in the government that immediately preceded that of Governor Macquarrie, and who had co-operated in the violent suspension and expulsion of Governor Bligh, strongly partook of the spirit by which the superiority of the free population over the convicts had been maintained: severity of discipline in the labouring class of convicts, and a distant and haughty demeanour towards those who had lately emerged from that class, were the characters by which their short administration was marked. Since that period an intermediate class has arisen and become numerous, consisting either of the lower classes of settlers who came free, and who do not partake the same sentiments, and of persons whose sentences of transportation have expired, or who have received emancipations and pardons. To many of these persons convict servants have been assigned, without a sufficient attention to the superiority that it is so essential to preserve in the relation of master and servant, many of them being mere tenants, although they are described in the returns as landholders, and some of them only holding tickets of leave. In this description of persons, it is, that Mr. Cox, a gentleman much distinguished for experience and sagacity, has observed a want of authority over their convict servants, and an unwillingness to appear against them, arising from sympathy with a condition that was once their own, that tends to relax the severity of discipline, and to defeat the efforts of the magistrates to maintain it.

As the population of New South Wales has, until lately, been virtually limited to the occupation of a small tract of land that between the Blue Mountains and the sea, and nearly encircled by the river Nepean, and as few temptations to plunder existed in the tracts contiguous to these boundaries, excepting those that were afforded by the wild cattle in the cow pastures, the offence of bush-ranging, or continued absence in the woods, has not of late been common. Instances have occurred of the departure of convicts for the purpose of traversing the country with a view to escape of the escape of some from Newcastle, sent thither for punishment, and their wandering and temporary existence in the vicinity of Windsor; and latterly, a few instances of escape from the road parties to the districts of Liverpool and Bathurst; but there has been no systematic, continued or combined effort of desperate convicts to defy the attempts of the local government in New South Wales, or to subsist by plunder, such as have existed until a very late period in Van Dieman's Land. The supply of animal food, moreover, in the district of Cumberland, had continued to be abundant until the month of October of the year 1819; and the offences of cattle and sheep stealing had not then been common, with the exception of the attempts before alluded to, against the herds of wild cattle in the cow pastures.

From the want of means, that has before been adverted to, for making individual reference to the names of convicts in the books of the governor's secretary, as well as in those of the principal superintendent of convicts at Sydney, I found it impossible to ascertain what degree of influence the different condition of the convicts transported to New South Wales might have had upon their conduct there, or the greater propensity of one clam than of the others, to commit offences. I could only, therefore, resort to the opinions of the best informed of the inhabitants respecting it. I found that this was a subject upon which very few of them had ever bestowed any consideration; for the selection of the convicts on their arrival, by the settlers, as well as that which is made by the magistrates, proceeds altogether upon their capacity for labour, and not upon any retrospect of their former lives or characters, or the length of their sentences; and upon the same principle, the dismissal of a convict, either for crime or neglect, by one master, forms no objection to his admission into the service of another. The general opinion appeared to be, that the period of seven years, reduced as it frequently is by service on board the hulks and the voyage, was too short for the purposes of punishment to the labouring classes of the convicts; that it led them to indulge prematurely the desire of assuming the condition of settlers, and relaxed those feelings of habitual caution and obedience, and that respectful demeanour, for which those who had arrived in the early periods of the colony, and had endured its rigorous discipline, were and are yet distinguished.

The shortness of this term of seven years, being still farther abridged by the expectations of remission of punishment, that have assumed more the character of claims than of rewards, since the promulgation of Governor Macquarrie's orders of the year 1813, inspires the convict transported to New South Wales, for that term, with a stronger wish to return to England, than to remain in the colony. This feeling is also more prevalent amongst the convicts whose criminal habits are confirmed, and whose only view in returning to England is that of indulging them, than amongst those who have been the victims of a single error, or of casual but strong temptation. To this last description of convicts the transportation to New South Wales, even for seven years, holds out an opportunity of retrieving that error, which it will be rarely their lot to find at home; and it affords a shelter from reproach, from which, I have heard many of them declare, they were most anxious to be released, and which they were determined never again to encounter. With such feelings, men transported for short terms may be made good servants, and may afterwards become good settlers. To this class of convicts, which, in respect to the term of sentence, is a numerous one, it must be admitted that the prospect afforded by transportation to New South Wales, is more one of emigration than of punishment. In the convicts transported for 14 years, and for life, there is a natural disposition to remain in the colony; and if their previous state of discipline in it were prolonged, or rendered more severe, and, above all, if it were adapted to their future state of existence in the colony, it might have the effect of creating industrious habits, accompanied with a hope of ultimate reward, that is yet consistent with a long state of servitude and bondage. This hope, however, should be directed to the colony, and not to Great Britain; and all the circumstances that tend to revive or to cherish that hope, must be carefully kept out of view.

The class of convicts transported for forgery, and for uttering forged notes, (of late become so numerous, and generally for 14 years and for life), has at all times given the greatest embarrassment to the colonial government, as well as to their employers. They generally consist of men who have been little accustomed to laborious employments or to field labour, of printers and compositors in printing offices, and of the lower order of mercantile clerks. If they are found to possess any clerical skill, they are employed in the commissariat department, and by the magistrates and superintendents; and when assigned to settlers, are most frequently employed as teachers to the younger branches of poor families, who are at too great a distance from the public schools to attend them. The effect of their employment in towns, as clerks, has been already observed upon; and it appeared to me to be so destructive of all notion or feeling of punishment, as well as of those distinctions between the free and the convict classes, that were the essential characteristics of the early, discipline of the colony, that notwithstanding the additional expense that the subsistence of these persons might occasion to the crown, I do not hesitate to recommend, that they should either be subsisted and employed on light work, or, at all events, that they should be banished from the town of Sydney into the country, where, if their condition be a little elevated above that of their fellows, it may be solely imputed to their superior acquirements, and where they may have no temptation to indulge their vanity, nor to outrage public feeling by their ostentatious appearance.

The employment of men convicted for forgery, as schoolmasters for the children of settlers, cannot be contemplated without apprehension; but whether from habit or necessity, I found these apprehensions had subsided, even in quarters where they might have been supposed most strongly to have prevailed. Thus Edward Eager, who was transported to New South Wales for life for forgery, was on the recommendation of Mr. Marsden, received into the family of the Rev. Mr. Cartwright, at Windsor, and became the instructor of his children; and, latterly, I observed, that the school of Lawrence Halloran, who, for one short period, was in the degraded character of assigned servant to Mr. S. Ford, and afterwards received a ticket of leave, was preferred by the principal inhabitants of Sydney, amongst whom was Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, to another, but more remote establishment, that was forming under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Reddell.

Another and striking instance of insensibility to the consequences of such superintendence, occurred in the inquiry that took place before the magistrates at Par mat into the conduct of Mr. R. Fitzgerald; upon that occasion, it appeared that his eldest son, a youth of 16 years of age, was allowed to be instructed by his convict clerk, in the suspicious and dangerous art of imitating the hand-writing of individuals. This fact was stated without any hesitation or regret by Mr. Fitzgerald, his father, to the magistrates, in the course of their inquiry into the authenticity of certain returns that had been copied by his son, and transmitted to Governor Macquarrie. The statement fortunately attracted the notice of Mr. Justice Field, who did not allow it to pass without a suitable rebuke.

Considering the nature and extent of the paper circulation that subsisted in New South Wales, until the year 1816; the payments that have been made by the commissariat department, for the annual supplies of meat and grain to the public stores; and of the issues of their own notes by Mr. Deputy Commissary General Drennan and the bank of New South Vales; the prosecutions and convictions for forgery have not been so numerous as might have been expected. In the year 1811, the crime of forgery was punished by the execution of two convicts; and it appears to have been checked by that means. In the year 1815, it was again very successfully and extensively practised by a convict named Lycett, a clerk employed in a subordinate situation in the police department. This man had been transported to the colony for uttering forged notes, and was always distinguished by his skill in the arts of imitation. He was convicted and transported to Newcastle, from whence, at the recommendation of Captain Wallis, the commandant, and in consideration of his having painted an altar-piece for the church at that settlement, he was permitted to return to Sydney, where he now continues to exercise his art, and to be employed by individuals. By their liberality he has been preserved from resorting again to criminal pursuits; but his habits of intoxication are fixed and incurable.

The convicts in the employ of government, and in that of settlers, are at all times allowed to marry; and a sense of the advantages arising from this permission, has induced Governor Macquarrie to give a very general sanction to them, as well as an encouragement, by conferring tickets of leave on those who entered into the marriage state with the means and inclination to support themselves.

It is the opinion of the Rev. Mr. Marsden, that marriage, even in New South Wales, operates as a corrective of vicious propensities; and in that point of view is to be encouraged, by giving as early permission as possible to the wives of convicts to follow their husbands to the colony, to prevent the latter from forming new connections there. Great difficulty is found in distinguishing between the real and pretended motives for applications of convicts to be married in the colony; and no doubt is entertained, that the marriage obligation is contracted for the purpose of making an alteration in the civil condition of the parties. This alteration is certainly more abrupt than is consistent with a just notion of punishment; but, as long as the punishment of the female convicts consisted of detention and labour in the factory at Paramatta, it was better policy to give them a chance of correcting their morals by early marriage, than to continue that detention with the certainty of more deeply depraving them in their single state.

Instances very frequently occur of the marriage of convicts with emancipated convict women, and with young women who are born in the colony, to which the latter are as much prompted by their early dispositions to marriage, as by the associations into which they are led, from the admission of the convict labourers to the houses and tables of the lower classes of emancipated convict settlers, to whom they are assigned. The marriage of the native-born youths with female convicts are very rare; a circumstance that is attributable to the general disinclination to early marriage that is observable amongst them, and partly to the abandoned and dissolute habits of the female convicts, but chiefly to a sense of pride in the native-born youths, approaching to contempt for the vices and depravity of the convicts, even when manifested in the persons of their own parents.

The applications of male and female convicts to be allowed to marry are addressed to the chaplains of the districts, who make inquiries where they can, and sometimes make a reference to the principal superintendent of convicts, for information of their condition. A list of these applications is submitted to the governor, with such remarks upon the Condition or circumstances of the parties applying, as may have occurred to the chaplains, or come to their knowledge, on the first Monday of each month. This regulation took place in the month of October 1816, to remedy some inconvenience of the former practice, that consisted only of transmitting to the governor certificates signed by the chaplains, that the banns had been published. It was alleged that sufficient time was not given by that means for inquiry into the condition of the parties; and it was certainly desirable, that if reference or appeal was made to the authority or the discretion of the governor, that it should be made before, rather than after the publication of the banns three times in the church. By the new regulation, more time is required from the first period of application for marriage, to the solemnization of it than is always consistent with the views of the parties; and where they live at a distance from the chaplains, it may operate as a discouragement to marriage. By the correspondence that took place between the governor and Mr. Marsden upon the subject, the former was of opinion, that it was better to incur that risk than afford an inducement to hasty and injudicious connections, by limiting the period of objection to the ordinary one of three weeks; and in this opinion I concur.

As no information is transmitted in the hulk lists, of the single or married state of the convicts, and when there are so many motives in New South Wales for concealing it, it is very difficult, almost impossible, to ascertain it.

Two affecting consequences of a second marriage, contracted in New South Wales during the life-time of a first and absent husband, are mentioned by Mr. Marsden in his evidence; and he states such marriages to have been of frequent occurrence. These consequences may be greatly obviated, by requiring the gaolers of the different prisons in England to communicate the information that they may receive respecting the single or married condition of the convicts sent to the hulks; and by adding these particulars, corrected by subsequent inquiry there, to the communications transmitted in the hulk lists. A much better chance will then exist of obtaining a true statement, when the advantages attending the marriage state in New South Wales are unknown or unperceived, than when they form, as they certainly do in that colony, a very strong temptation to imposture.

This disposition is further prompted by an idea that was represented to me to have prevailed amongst the convicts, that capital conviction followed by sentence of death, afterwards commuted to transportation for life, operated as a dissolution of the marriage contract; and it may therefore be an additional reason for disappointing, by early inquiry, any undue expectations to which such an idea must give me.

The power of assigning female convicts from the factory to individuals, has been intrusted to the acting magistrates at Paramatta, Mr. Marsden and Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur. The conduct of the females in service, is the subject of frequent complaint to the magistrates, and in that case they are returned to the factory.

The connections that they form in service, and in the families of the settlers, end either in marriage or in their return to Paramatta, where the offspring of their illicit intercourse is maintained at the expense of the crown, in return for their own labour. As long as the great disproportion continues to exist between the male and female population in New South Wales, the temptations to illicit intercourse in both, and all the crimes that are committed for the purpose of supporting it, must be expected to prevail. Female convict servants will continue to be seduced from the houses of their masters, and will find asylums in the houses of single men, under the pretence of service; and the still greater evil will continue, of the seduction of the native-born young women by the male convicts, and their marriage with them. It is not therefore without serious apprehension, that the most intelligent persons in the colony have contemplated any reduction in the number of female convicts to be transported thither in future; and have been led to consider, that any additional facilities given by government to the return of those whose terms of service have expired, independent of such as they may acquire by their own good conduct in the colony, would occasion an additional expense to government, and operate as an encouragement to profitable prostitution: particular exceptions no doubt will occur, where it may be advisable to afford these facilities to married women, who have left families in England; but to these, even in the present state of the colony, them exist such ample opportunities, by good conduct in service, of realizing the means of return, that if their absence from their native country, and their punishment, be prolonged, it may without injustice be attributed to themselves. One application only for the means of returning was made to me by any female who had been a convict, and her case was not entitled to any consideration.

For the general prevention and pursuit of crimes, or for the control of the convicts, it did not appear to me that the rural police, or that of the towns of New South Wales, were as efficient and active as the colony required. The chief constables of the districts, with the exception of Mr. Francis Oakes, whose attention was much confined to the town of Paramatta, were not men of personal activity; and the chief constable of Sydney was too much advanced in years, and though respectable in character, not sufficiently literate, to perform some of the most important duties with which he was charged. Each of the two chief constables of Windsor and Paramatta received salaries of 50l. from the police fund, and fees attached to their office. The chief constable of Sydney received a salary of 60l. The allowance of a district constable in the country, consists of the assignment to him of a government convict, who is victualled from the king's store; the allowance of rations for himself and his family, and two suits of slops per annum, which have always been in arrear, or very irregularly issued.

The allowance to the constables at Sydney has been larger than to those in the country, or at Paramatta. The salaries of each of the six district constables at Sydney amounted to 15l. per annum, and have latterly been raised to 20l. They have an allowance of a ration and a half for themselves, which was further increased to a double ration, and rations for their families, and slops, which, like the same allowance to other constables, have been in arrear, or irregularly supplied. The petty constables receive an allowance of a ration and half for themselves, and sometimes for their families, and double suits of slops, but no pay. The district constables in the country were, until the month of April 1820, appointed by the magistrates of the different districts; but they are now recommended to the governor, and he appoints them: they are generally selected from the class of settlers who had become free by service or pardon, and at Sydney a few of them had been formerly soldiers of the l02d and 73d regiments.

The duties of the district constables, consist of reporting and giving information to the chief constable and magistrates of all occurrences in their districts, and attending the bench of magistrates with prisoners for examination, and taking the musters on Sundays. The petty constables in the towns act as watchmen at night, and call the hour as they go their rounds; and in the day-time are required to be in readiness to convey letters or orders: this duty has of late very much increased, and has been allowed to interfere too much with the performance of others, of a more local and important kind.

From the inconsiderable allowances that the petty constables receive, a great difficulty has been found in prevailing upon men of good character to accept the situation. Many of them hold tickets of leave, and some are convicts, selected on account of their character. In all of these selections numerous disappointments occur, for constables have been frequently dismissed, either for drunkenness or inattention, to their duty, and unwillingness to perform it, though not for positive connivance in crime.

On the 20th May 1820, the names and districts of the constables of every description in the colony of New South Wales, were published by order of the governor, in the Sydney Gazette; and it appeared that at Sydney there was one chief constable, six district constables, with 35 assigned to them, 13 town constables, eight to the gaol, three assigned to the judge advocate, and one as an office-keeper, and one to Mr. J. Field; one constable was also assigned to the establishment at Grose Farm, and one for the protection of the lumber-yard at Sydney. It has always been customary to assign constables for the nightly protection of the government house, and residences at Sydney, Paramatta and 'Windsor; and also to certain of the civil officers at Sydney. A constable was attached to my own residence in the town of Sydney, although it had also the protection of a military sentinel towards the street; but it was not considered safe, unless it was protected on both sides. At the later periods of my residence at Sydney, a constable was appointed to act as a messenger, whom I was under the necessity of dismissing, for gross neglect and intoxication, in the performance of' a duty of some importance, with which he had been specially charged. The assignment of three constables to the judge advocate, and one as an office keeper, which was only made at a late period, appears to exceed that of any other civil officer on the establishment, and may admit of reduction to two. But I am not aware that the number of the constables in the whole establishment at Sydney can be reduced, until their efficiency in point of character is increased.

The establishment at Paramatta consisted of one chief constable, and 17 town constables. That at Windsor, of one chief constable and 15 town constables; and that of Liverpool of one chief constable and three town constables. In the districts of New South Wales, there were 41 district constables, who were also pound keepers. Three petty constables in the district of Airds, and three in those of Bringelly and Cooke. These are necessarily attached to the service of the different magistrates. Previous to my departure I did not fail to call Governor Macquarrie's attention to the obvious expediency of paying all the constables with more regularity than had hitherto been observed; and he promised to attend to that suggestion.

The manner of distributing the convicts in Van Dieman's Land to the settlers, and the numbers so distributed, have already been observed.

Until the end of the year 1819, they continued to be in demand both at Port Dalrymple and Hobart Town. The regulations respecting their labour and their food, payment of wages and clothing, are the same as those that prevail in New South Wales; but the convicts generally partook more largely of animal food in Van Dieman's Lind, and received larger and more frequent rations of mutton, and less of pork. Their clothing, on the other hand, was neither so good in kind, nor had been so regularly supplied; and the prices were considerably higher than those at Sydney. The cost of a winter and summer suit of clothing for a convict is estimated at 6l. 7s. 7d.; his subsistence at 11l. 2s.; and these, with his wages, of 7l. make an annual charge of 24l. 9s. 7d. to a settler for every convict assigned to him.

This estimate is framed upon the regulated ration, consisting of seven pounds of fresh meat, and eight pounds of wheat per week, but as this quantity is generally increased by the settlers to 10 pounds of meat and one peck of wheat per week, the cost of maintenance is raised to 17l. 17s. 6d. per man, making, with his wages and clothing, an annual charge of 31l. 5s.

I observed that a great many of the convicts in Van Dieman's Land wore jackets and trowsers of the kangaroo skin, and sometimes caps of the same material, which they obtain from the stock-keepers who are employed in the interior of the country. The labour of several of them differs, in this respect, from that of the convicts in New South Wales, and is rather pastoral than agricultural; permission having been given, for the last five years, to the settlers to avail themselves of the ranges of open plains and rallies, that lie on either side of the road leading from Austin's Ferry to Launceston, a distance of 120 miles, their flocks and herds have been committed to the care of convict shepherds and stock-keepers, who are sent to these cattle ranges, distant sometimes 30 or 40 miles from their master's estates.

The boundaries of these tracts are described in the tickets of occupation by which they are held, and which are made renewable every year, on payment of a fee to the lieutenant-governor's clerk. One or more convicts are stationed on them, to attend to the flocks and cattle, and are supplied with wheat, tea and sugar, at the monthly visits of the owner. They are allowed the use of a musket and a few cartridges to defend themselves against the natives; and they have also dogs, with which they hunt the kangaroos, whose flesh they eat, and dispose of their skins to persons passing from Hobart Town to Launceston, in exchange for tea and sugar. They thus obtain a Their supply of food, and sometimes succeed in cultivating a few vegetables. Their habitations are made of turf and thatched, as the bark of the dwarf eucalyptus, or gum tree of the plains, and the interior, in Van Dieman's Land, is not of sufficient expanse to form covering or shelter.

The regulations that have been adopted for the control of the convicts in Van Dieman's Land, are stated at length in the evidence of Mr. Humphreys, the police magistrate at Hobart Town, to whom much credit is due for the diligence and correctness with which he has carried into effect the several orders of Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, his assumption of the command in Van Dieman's Land, on the 9th of April 1817, he found both the settlements at Hobart Town, and at Port Dalrymple, as well as all the intermediate and neighbouring districts of the island, in a state of alarming subjection to the parties of bush-rangers, who had for three years preceding, bid defiance to all efforts of the local government to subdue them.

Mr. Humphreys has traced their origin, to the necessities of the settlement, and the scarcity of food with which it had to contend, at its first establishment under Lieutenant-colonel Collins. The convicts assigned to the military officers, according to the custom and necessities of that day, were obliged to furnish to their masters, and to procure for themselves, a certain quantity of kangaroo flesh; and having first gone into the woods for these temporary supplies of food, they gradually acquired a knowledge of the country, and of the means of supporting themselves in it. To this at length they were driven; and the predatory habits of these men, who have since received the common appellation of bush-rangers, have continued from the year t 805, with more or less of violence and rapacity, until the month of October in the year 1818. The relaxed state of discipline in which the convicts were kept under the commands of Major Murray, Colonel Geils, and Lieutenant-colonel Davey; the little co-operation and confidence that these officers were enabled to inspire in the settlers; the want of a criminal court to try offenders; and lastly, the effects of a measure resorted to by Governor Macquarrie, have all had an influence in giving permanence to the destructive successes of the bushrangers.

As the nature and effects of this measure of Governor Macquarrie, have been much relied upon by Lieutenant-colonel Davey, in certain representations that he laid before me, and which he informed me, had been transmitted through the Earl of Harrowby to your Lordship, and as I found several well-informed persons in Van Dieman's Land had imputed to the same measure, the prolonged continuance of the mischief that it intended to suppress, I think it necessary to make some mention of it.

The excesses of the bush-rangers in the neighbourhood of Port Dalrymple, and likewise near Hobart Town, had attained their utmost height, and most sanguinary character at the latter end of the year 1813. They had been joined by two persons who had held subordinate stations in the commissariat department, named Peter Mills and George Williams; and continued a system or violent depredation upon the houses and property of individuals of every description. So great was the intimidation produced by their combined efforts, that the inhabitants of several districts abandoned their dwellings and removed for safety to the towns.

Colonel Davey had issued a proclamation offering rewards for the apprehension of a party of nine, whose depredations had been marked with great atrocity and cruelty; and a further reward to any person who should give information of the assistance that it was well known they received. This proclamation received the sanction of Governor Macquarrie; but considering that the circumstances of the settlement, as well as the character of these offenders, required the application of other influence, than that of encouragement for their apprehension, counteracted as it was, by the fears of some of the settlers, and the connivance of others, the governor, with the advice, as it would appear, of Mr. Ellis Bent, issued a proclamation on the 14th May 1814, in which, after reciting the names of the several offenders, and the outrages that they had committed, he required them to return and surrender on or before the 1st day of December of the same year, under pain of being considered as outlaws; declaring further, that if they complied with the order, they should be pardoned for all offences, that they had committed during their absence from their homes, save and except the crime of wilful murder.

The effect of this proclamation was the reverse of that which was intended. It increased the crimes and audacity of the bush-rangers, during the interval of six months that it allowed them for return; they profited by the pardon by making a temporary surrender, and then resumed their habits of plunder. It was under the influence of these circumstances that Colonel Davey adopted the resolution of proclaiming and continuing martial, law, until he received an order from Governor Macquarrie to put an end to it; disclaiming at the same time all responsibility for a measure that was unauthorized by him, and for the adoption of which, he rightly considered that Lieutenant-colonel Davey's power, as lieutenant-governor, did not extend. Martial law had been proclaimed by Lieutenant-governor Davey, in the month of May 1815, and continued until the month of October following; although he had been apprised by Mr. Deputy Judge Advocate Abbott, who had arrived in the settlement in the month of February 1815, that he considered the declaration of this measure, by him, to have been both illegal and unnecessary.

An address, signed by several inhabitants of Van Dieman's Land, in favour both of the original adoption of the measure, and its continuance, was voted to Lieutenant-governor Davey, on the 15th September 1815. Notwithstanding the number of names that appear to this document, the proclamation of martial law was a measure that the more prudent part of the community did not approve. For if the capture only of the bush-rangers, or other lawless plunderers, was the object, that object would have been attained by an active and judicious disposal of the military force, without any previous or subsequent reference to a military tribunal. The want of a local criminal court was, however, the principal justification; for when the military or the inhabitants had been successful in apprehending the bushrangers, neither proprietors nor witnesses could, prevailed upon to leave their homes exposed to danger, and repair to Sydney or the purpose of giving their testimony against them, at a great expense to themselves, and a great detriment to their property.

It cannot be denied that the want of a criminal jurisdiction in Van Dieman's Land, has been most seriously felt in these settlements, and has contributed more than any other cause, to afford encouragement and impunity to crime amongst all classes of offenders.

The measures adopted by Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, immediately on his arrival at Hobart Town, in the month of May 1817, were of the most judicious kind. By a spirited exposition, of the circumstances of their situation, he succeeded, in at last awakening amongst those who wished to save their property from plunder, a sense of the necessity of co-operation in measures of self defence, and of combination against their common enemies: a liberal subscription was made by the inhabitants to enable the lieutenant-governor to carry these views into effect; and large rewards were offered for the apprehension of six of the most desperate of the banditti. By denouncing those who were known and detected in affording them aid, by sending military assistance to the support of those who were attacked, and by establishing a system of vigilant control over the removal of convicts from one district to another, he succeeded in checking the frequent enterprizes of the bush-rangers. Many of them, however, still continued to maintain themselves, and were at length reduced by the spirited pursuit and exertions of a detachment of the 46th regiment, or by the most cruel and treacherous assassinations of each other, perpetrated from a fear of being betrayed, and for the purpose of obtaining a share of the promised reward.

The celebrated leader of the principal party, Michel Howe, after surrendering himself to the lieutenant-governor on an assurance of present safety, and a recommendation to Governor Macquarrie, escaped from the gaol at Hobart Town, where he attempted, in concert with a convict named Reagent, at that time servant to the deputy judge advocate, Mr. Abbott, to make his escape in an American vessel. Disappointed in this attempt, he returned to his former mode of life, was apprehended a second time and secured; but by means of a sudden and dexterous exertion of strength, and a concealed knife that he had retained, he stabbed both his attendants, one of whom was the most guilty companion of his former exploits. Having thus disengaged himself, he again repaired to the woods, where he subsisted for some time, but with difficulty, on account of the loss of his pistols that had been wrested from him; and from the horror and detestation with which he at length began to be regarded. Impelled by the desire of obtaining a supply of ammunition, he was at last induced to enter a hut, in which a soldier of the 48th regiment, and a convict, emancipated for former services of the same kind, suddenly fell upon him, and after a fierce encounter killed him.

This event did not take place till the month of October 1818, and although it may be considered as the termination of the system of plunder that had so much alarmed the settlement for the space of four years, yet instances have occurred since, and to a very late period, of extensive robberies of sheep, as well as sudden entries of houses, and the forcible seizure of property.

During my residence at George Town, one of the most desperate offenders at that place, having seized some arms and gunpowder, betook himself to the woods, where being joined by four others, they committed several daring robberies at the farms of settlers between George Town and Launceston; they were pursued, and after being out for five weeks in the woods, the leader, Hector M'Donald, was shot by two convicts who had been sent in pursuit of them; and another was shot by one of the soldiers of the 48th regiment; the remaining three were tried by the magistrates at Launceston, and were punished by flogging and transportation.

In carrying into effect his regulations for controlling the convicts, Lieutenant-governor Sorrell had at first to contend with much opposition on the part of the settlers. The majority of them consisted of those who had been removed from Norfolk Island on the evacuation of that settlement, and who had been sent thither for offences committed in New South Wales. The system of never allowing a convict to come to Hobart Town without a pass, of obliging him to show it to the magistrate of police there, and to take one from the same officer on his return to his district, where it was again to be exhibited to a constable, for the purpose of being returned to Hobart Town, to show that thee bearer had not deviated from his time or destination, is found to have afforded an useful check both upon the convicts and the lower order of settlers, who, when they cannot afford to give employment to a convict for the whole of his time, allow him to search for it elsewhere.

The practice of mustering the convicts on Sundays has been also found very useful in the settlements near Hobart Town, principally because the reports of the musters were transmitted with regularity to Hobart Town, from those districts in which no magistrate resided; and that the two magistrates specially charged with the superintendence of the Sunday muster, Mr. Humphreys at Hobart Town, and Mr. Gordon at Pittwater, were very attentive in exacting its regular execution.

Unfortunately, the number of magistrates in Van Dieman's Land has been very small; and only one of them, Mr. Gordon, resided in the country.

Out of those persons whom I noticed amongst the free settlers at and near Hobart Town in the year 1820, I do not think that Lieutenant-governor Sorrell could have recommended any one for the office of magistrate that was competent to perform its duties, although he was fully impressed himself with the importance of augmenting their numbers. The distance at which the inhabitants of the settled districts are thus placed from any authority, debars them almost of the means of punishing their convict servants, who know how to take advantage of the difficulty. They have also, as has been observed before, consisted of the worst description of men that had been confined in the gaol gang at Sydney, or that had returned from the Coal River. In either case, whenever it was considered necessary to remove them permanently, for the purpose of breaking their old connections, such convicts were sent to Hobart Town; and this circumstance, together with the generally low description of the settlers in Van Dieman's Land, will account for the greater prevalence of crime, as well as its unchecked success. The continuance of the predatory and wandering habits of the convicts who so long infested the country is, in some measure, to be attributed to the dispersion of the flocks and herds of the settlers over so great an extent of country, the knowledge of it that is thus obtained by the stock-keepers, and the unprotected state in which the herds and flocks are left by their owners. This fact was reluctantly acknowledged by many of the inhabitants of Van Dieman's Land; for it is principally to this facility of obtaining pasturage, that the great and rapid increase has taken place in their sheep and cattle.

At Launceston, and in those districts that have been distinguished by the general name of Port Dalrymple, and that are situated on the northern coast of Van Dieman's Land, the control of the convicts in the employment of the settlers, has been less vigorous and regular than in those on the southern coast, that form the county of Buckingham.

The removal of the residence of the commandant (Lieutenant-colonel Cimitière) to George Town, together with a considerable portion of the military force, has both contracted the means of control at Launceston, and made the few civil officers who are stationed there, less vigilant in applying them. Three magistrates, however, reside at Launceston: Mr. Archer, who held the situation of clerk in charge in the commissariat department Mr. Cox, and Captain Barclay. The chief constable, Mr. Massey, paid very little attention to the business of his office, and was very desirous of retiring from it, as he found that his absence from his property in the country was the cause of serious loss to him. The magistrates were occupied largely in agriculture, or in trade, and with the exception of Mr. Archer, did not command the personal respect of the inhabitants. There were not however any other persons that could have been selected for the purpose. The conduct of one of these, Captain Barclay, was particularly brought to my notice. A female convict cohabited with him at Launceston, and in consideration of that circumstance was, with others in the same situation, excused from attendance at church. The notoriety of the cause of this exemption had produced its natural effect upon the minds of other prisoners, and they justified their own absence from church by the interested connivance of their superiors in the breach of that regulation. Another instance of the same kind had taken place during the residence of Mr. Deputy Assistant Commissary General Walker at Launceston. A female convict was not only permitted to live with him, but he appeared with her in the town of Launceston, and in a manner that evinced the terms upon which they lived. This occurrence took place during the residence of Lieutenant-colonel Cimitière at Launceston, who endeavoured by admonition and remonstrance with Mr. Walker, to prevent the occurrence of such a disgraceful practice. He expostulated with him in vain; and it was with infinite surprise and regret, that I learnt that after the departure of Mr. Walker for head quarters, Mr. Archer, one of the magistrates at Launceston, had recommended the same female convict to Lieutenant-governor Sorrell for a ticket of leave.

These circumstances are sufficient to show the very low state of public morals at Launceston; and, from the information I received, I found that a greater degree of immorality prevailed in all the settled districts.

The same system of remuneration that prevails at Sydney, in assigning convicts on the store to the different officers of government, exists likewise at Hobart Town and Launceston; each of the magistrates is allowed four of such men; and Major Bell has that number in his capacity of magistrate, and two more as acting engineer.

With the exception of Mr. Gordon, and Mr. Deputy Judge Advocate Abbott, the magistrates allow the greatest number of the men assigned to them to make their payments in wheat, in the articles in which they deal, or in money; the last is the least frequent mode of payment, and the least regular. Where the convicts who are thus allowed do not live upon the estate, or in the houses of the magistrates, the same consequences follow as in New South Wales and the same observations that applied to the system of remuneration there, are applicable in Van Dieman's Land, except that the control over the convicts, and the knowledge of their places of residence, is much more precisely traced and fixed by Mr. Humphreys, the police magistrate, than it is by the principal superintendent of convicts at Sydney. At Launceston I found that the system equally prevailed; but as the commandant, Lieutenant-colonel Cimitière, and Lieutenant Leroux, of the 48th regiment, who was appointed to act as coroner, and Lieutenant Vandermeulen, the inspector of works, were not possessed of farms, they necessarily gave permission to their men to work where they could find employment, and received wheat from them in return.

It had been repeatedly charged by Mr. Leith, the superintendent of works at George Town, that the several commandants at that station had selected some of the best workmen as their assigned convicts; and I found that a rough carpenter had been for six months assigned to Lieutenant-colonel Cimitière. This is a species of appropriation, that forms one of the principal advantages derived from the remote or immediate superintendence of the convicts; and as the difference between a skilful and unskilful labourer constitutes the difference of loss or gain to the settler, so is the same degree of interest felt, and the same distinction attempted to be made; by those to whom they are assigned for remuneration; the only difference between the two cases being, that in one, the settler has no power or means of selection, and in the other, many circumstances combine to give that power, and to conceal its exercise.

The manner in which Lieutenant-colonel Cimitière disposed of the produce of his men's labour, will be noticed when I come to consider the information that I received, and the evidence that I took upon that subject, in conjunction with Lieutenant-governor Sorrell. The returns that were made to me of offences committed at Hobart Town, embrace a period of 10 years; but those only that are subsequent to the month of April 1817, are certified by Mr. Humphreys, the police magistrate. As the proceedings were not always taken down in writing until after that time, nor the records in his custody, or in such a state that an accurate transcript or abstract could be made from them, I cannot rely with confidence upon the records of offences that are of an earlier date than the month of April 1817; an abstract, however, has been taken of the offences punished by the magistrates during the period of to years. In consequence of the expense that has attended the transmission of prisoners and witnesses from Van Dieman's Land to Sydney, all offences committed by convicts there, except murder, were ordered to be tried and punished by the magistrates. And for the purpose of better preserving the peace, a practice has been beneficially introduced of binding over, for a certain period, free persons charged on oath, and credible testimony, with having committed breaches of the peace, and of reviving the recognizances, if it should appear to the magistrates that there was a necessity for such a measure. In cases of felony and misdemeanor likewise, a criminal jurisdiction was exercised by the magistrates over free persons, from the year 1810 till the arrival of Mr. Deputy Judge Advocate Abbott when, with the exception of taking securities for breaches of the peace, and fining for drunkenness, the offences of free persons were referred to the cognizance of the criminal courts at Sydney.

The extent of punishments inflicted by the magistrates at Hobart Town appears to have varied greatly. In the years 1810 and 1811 as many as 500 lashes have been inflicted; but since the commencement of the year 1816, they have very rarely exceeded too, and have generally been limited to 50. In consequence of the facility of reference possessed by Mr. Humphreys to the name, as well as condition, of every convict that has arrived in the southern settlements of Van Dieman's Land, since he was appointed to the superintendence of the police in the year 1817, he was enabled to affix those particulars to a very large proportion of the convicts that had been brought before magistrates at Hobart Town, except in the years 1819 and 1820, when, in consequence of sending off from Sydney, with greater dispatch than usual, a number of convicts who had been engaged in an extensive conspiracy to surprise and carry off vessels from the harbour of Port Jackson, their original sentences had not been transmitted from the secretary's office at Sydney, and their condition could not be ascertained till the muster of 1820 was completed. It is by reference to that document that I have been able to ascertain the exact number of the different classes of convicts in the district of Hobart Town, and adjoining districts, and to compare it with the convictions for the same period. Without this knowledge of these particulars for the preceding years, the same comparison cannot be effected, but for six months of the year 1820 it appears, that out of 457 offences committed by convicts in these districts, 282 were committed by convicts transported for seven years, 41 by those for 14 years, and 134 by those for life; the numbers of convicts of those several classes amounting to 946 for seven years, 255 for 14 years, and 709 for life. It will thus appear that the proportion of offences committed by the class of seven years convicts, is to the whole numbers of that class as 1 to 3¼; the proportion of the class of 14 years, is as 1 to 6¼; and that of the convicts for life, is as 1 to 5¾.

The limited accommodation of the gaol at Hobart Town, and the number of prisoners with which it has been frequently crowded before the means could be procured of sending them with the witnesses to Sydney, has much diminished the effect of confinement there: Lieutenant-governor Sorrell has endeavoured to remedy it by the construction of solitary cells; but they have not been, lately, found sufficiently numerous for the prisoners sentenced by the magistrates.

The punishment of the gaol gang at Hobart Town I observed to be very inefficient. The prisoners worked in irons, as at Sydney, in cleaning and levelling the streets; but I could observe that there was very little exertion used to make them work, and that they frequently received supplies of food from their acquaintance in the streets. Lieutenant-governor Sorrell had long perceived the want of a place of secondary punishment, similar to that which had existed at the Coal River; and agreeing with me in the expediency of providing one that would be more within reach, Mr. Oxley, the surveyor-general, who accompanied me to Van Dieman's Land, undertook to visit and inspect a harbour on the north-west coast of Van Dieman's Land, that had received the appellation of Macquarrie Harbour, taking with him the pilot of Hobart Town, Kelly, an experienced navigator, who had previously visited the harbour. A series of violent and adverse winds from the north-west prevented the vessel in which they embarked from making much progress after they left Port Davey, a harbour that they first proceeded to examine; and after contending against very bad weather for 14 days, with great perseverance, and under circumstances of some personal hardship, an apprehension of want of provisions obliged them to return. I endeavoured to collect as much information as I was able respecting this harbour; for it appeared, both to Lieutenant-governor Sorrell and myself, to possess some particular recommendations for a place of punishment.

The species of timber known in the colony by the name of the huon pine was found in great abundance; there were also indications of coal; and the ranges of sterile mountains that rose from the shores of the harbour towards the interior, and through which no one had yet attempted to pass, formed a good security against escape. Unfortunately the entrance is intricate, and difficult for vessels drawing more than eight feet water, and the bar is known to shift after the prevalence of north-west winds.

From the nature of the soil that has been examined on the shores of this harbour, the maintenance of the convicts sent thither would entirely depend upon imported food; and, from the best accounts, I was induced to believe that the supplies would be liable to many casualties and interruptions from bad weather, and bad navigation. Lieutenant-governor Sorrell seemed disposed to renew the experiment under more favourable circumstances of weather, but I was not induced to believe that his further investigation of the capacities of Macquarrie Harbour would be more satisfactory than the accounts that I had already received.

The registry of offences and punishments inflicted at Launceston I found to have been very irregularly kept until the year 1317. From the 23d November 1813 to the 24th May 1817, rough minutes of the evidence had been taken by the person who now acts as clerk to Lieutenant-colonel Cimitière, and fair copies were made by the clerk afterwards, but have never been signed by the magistrates. In examining these books I found the same difference in the extent of punishment existed that is perceivable in the registry of offences and punishments at Hobart Town, and the same exercise of criminal jurisdiction over free men. An abstract is made of the number and nature of the offences committed at both places in the different years.

Before I quit this subject, I think it necessary to state that recourse to corporal punishment became more a matter of necessity at Launceston than at any other of the settlements. The place of confinement there consisted only of two small rooms in a house built of wood, without any fence or wall to separate it from the town; and the communication of the prisoners with their friends, their frequent escape, and the want of control over them, have all had their influence in impeding the course of criminal justice, both in the investigation and detection of crimes, as well as in their punishment.

The female convicts, from want of any separate room in the prison, were placed in a small wooden but near the blacksmith's forge, now converted into a church, and a constable was placed over them to prevent their escape. This mode of punishment was found so ineffectual, that latterly the female convicts were sent to George Town, where they cohabited with the government convicts.

As the attention of the different commandants of the settlement at Port Dalrymple had been exclusively directed to the construction of the buildings at George Town, it was not considered necessary by Governor Macquarrie to incur any expense 44 in the repair of those at Launceston; and although the necessity of making these repairs has been daily increasing from the increase of population, the governor always hoped that with the removal of the residence of the commandant from Launceston to George Town, the mass of the population would remove also. Upon what erroneous grounds this expectation was founded, and upon what equally erroneous perception of the local advantages of these two stations, Governor Macquarrie's recommendations and suggestions to your Lordship have been made, it will afterwards be my duty to point out to you; but the immediate necessity of making some provision at Launceston for the confinement of prisoners was so distressingly felt, that although Governor Macquarrie did not concur in the views that I took of the expediency of immediately suspending the buildings at George Town, he consented to allow some repairs to be made to the gaol at Launceston, and has put a stop to several unauthorized locations of land in that town, which had been made by the commandant without the knowledge of Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, and under the notion that it was the intention of Governor Macquarrie to abandon the town of Launceston altogether.


Having now observed upon the state of crimes and punishments inflicted by the magistrates upon the convict population of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, I think it a more convenient opportunity in this place, to afford your Lordship some information respecting the settlement at Hunter's River, otherwise called the Coal River.

Upon the evacuation of Norfolk Island, which, at an early period of the colony, was the first place to which convicts were sent by way of punishment for offences committed within the colony, the importance of hunter's River, as a place of secondary punishment, became more fully known. Previous to that time it had been resorted to as an establishment for procuring a supply of coals and timber for the demand of government and of individuals, who were allowed to resort thither in vessels of their own, and to purchase timber at the rate of three pence per superficial foot, and coals at the rate of 10s. per ton.

By the tenor of the instructions given by Governor Macquarrie to Major Morisset, the present commandant, and dated the 24th December 1818, it would appear that the exclusive supply of the same articles to government was considered to be the principal object of the establishment, and the punishment of the convicts sent thither, to be a subordinate one. There are, however, full instructions upon both points; and commendable attention is shown in them to prevent as much as possible the communication of the prisoners with the crews of vessels that might touch at Port Hunter, or the introduction of spirits. Port Hunter is situated in 32 deg. 58 min. south latitude, and 151 deg. 42 min. east longitude, and 52 miles to the north of Port Jackson. The voyage to and from thence may be performed in eight hours; but the difficulty of entering the harbour and of leaving it, in certain periods of the tide, frequently causes a longer detention. The settlement and town are situated on the slope of a hill, that presents a front of abrupt sandstone rock towards the sea, gradually receding into a barren clay and sand towards the interior. The house and residence of the commandant Major Morisset, is placed in an elevated situation at the end of the principal street, and commands a view of the whole town. The houses of the convicts are placed at irregular distances from each other, but preserve an even line towards the streets, which are well laid out, and kept in order. They are seven in number, and contain altogether 13 houses that belong to government, and 71 that belong to prisoners. Having found it necessary to provide some place of lodging for those prisoners, who either could not easily find it themselves, or were not to be trusted in the houses of others, Major Morisset lately built a wooden barrack, containing four apartments for sleeping, and two for messing the convicts. The plan and dimensions of this building are contained in the Appendix.

The greatest advantages have been experienced from this measure, both in the prevention of nocturnal escapes, and of the bartering of the men's rations for tobacco and articles that were not allowed in their government ration.

This building contains two rooms, in which there are double rows of cribs, and in each of these three men sleep. The dimensions of these cribs are four feet three inches by six feet. There are also two sheds, one of which contains 24 births, and the other 18, all of the same dimensions as in the other rooms, affording altogether accommodation for 246 men. The remainder of the convicts either possess houses of their own, or obtain lodgings by the performance of domestic labour for the owners. An arrangement productive of very beneficial consequences has been pointed out in the instructions to the commandant, and has been since adopted by him, by virtue of which every person who applies for permission to build a house becomes responsible for any lodger quitting the settlement without leave. It is the interest therefore of the owner of the house to afford information of an intended escape of his inmates, and the preparations for it are now so well known, that timely precautions and common vigilance in the constables may generally prevent them.

The hours of labour for the convicts in summer are from five o'clock till eight, from nine till twelve, and from two to sunset, except on Saturdays, when they have from ten till four to themselves, and resume their work from four till sunset. The convicts at Newcastle are mustered four times in the day by the superintendent, who was a free man, and formerly a serjeant in the 40th regiment; and if any report is made or suspicion arise of a robbery or an escape, the convicts are mustered at their own houses.

Constables and overseers are selected from the prisoners who most recommend themselves; and their pay consists of an increased ration, and sometimes the labour of a convict. It is stated by the superintendent Evans, that he had no confidence in the constables, and that they connived at the escapes of the prisoners. The labour at Newcastle consists of the common and coarser mechanical operations, that are conducted in a place called the lumber-yard, and in cutting and procuring logs of wood from a distance of 70 miles in the interior of the country. Parties are sent upon these expeditions under the superintendence of an overseer and a deputy, and the men are tasked by them to cut and convey to the river a certain quantity of wood proportioned to the distance and difficulty of procuring it, and subject to the discretion of the commandant. The logs of wood are then made into rafts and floated down the river by the tide, huts being made upon them for the protection of the gangs upon their voyage, which lasts sometimes eight days, but is always uncertain, on account of the depth of water and current of the river. The parties are sometimes absent for a month or more upon these expeditions, and carry provisions with them for that period; and a steel mill for grinding their corn. Another species of work at the Coal River, consists of hewing and raising coal in one coal mine that is now worked there. Until the year 1817, coal was obtained at this settlement by a drift made on the sea shore, and level with it, penetrating a seam of coal that ski showed itself under the large mass of superincumbent sandstone that forms the south headland of the entrance to Hunter's River. The depth of the seam is three feet and one inch, and it is the same that is now worked by a perpendicular shaft of 111 feet, and a common windlass turned by convicts. The water found in the present coal mine is carried off by the old drift to the sea shore. Twenty-seven men are employed in the working of the mine, and the mouth of the shaft immediately adjoins the offices of the commandant's house. Twenty tons of coals can be raised in one day by the number of men there employed; and I observed that several could perform their task before the ordinary labour of the convicts ceased, but that they were detained at the mouth of the pit, under a shed, to prevent them from taking tell advantage of the absence of the other convicts from their houses, and plundering them. Eight of the miners employed, who hew the coals, are allowed an extra half-ration; and as it is found necessary to employ those men who are expert in this labour, convicts who have been accustomed to it in England are frequently sent up to the Coal River, direct from Sydney, upon their first disembarkation from the ships. The height of the pit, in which the coal is worked, is four feet and a half; and the coals are conveyed in barrows from the point at which they are hewn, a distance which in the month of February 1820 was not less than a hundred yards, to the bottom of the shaft.

The labour in the coal mines at Newcastle is found to be prejudicial to the health 111 of the convicts, on account of the bad air of the mine that they breathe, and the difficulty that is experienced in clearing it of water. Asthmas, pulmonary and rheumatic complaints, are those from which the miners most suffer.

The next kind of labour in which the convicts are employed is that of constructing a breakwater wall, that has received the name of Macquarrie Pier; and that is intended to connect a small island at the mouth of the river with the main land. The object of this work is to prevent the effect of a cross tide, which in south and south-east winds flows with rapidity and violence into the regular channel of the river, and throws vessels that are passing it on the shoals of the northern shore. The work will certainly be useful when it is finished, but it proceeds very, slowly.

The last mode of employment, or rather of punishment, for men who are found to be refractory, or sent with bad characters from the other settlements, is that of collecting oyster shells and burning them into lime. The place selected for this operation is a peninsula of low land, that is separated from the settlement of Newcastle by the Hunter's River in front, on the eastern side by the sea, and on the western by the large and spreading inlets of the river. The place of labour is about six miles from Newcastle. The convicts are lodged in one wooden building, and are guarded by a corporal's guard, and superintended by one overseer, who is a convict. Each convict is tasked to procure a certain quantity of shells, which are found in a loose and rich deposit of sandy loam, that is easily removed. The shells are thrown into heaps, after being disengaged from the loam, and burnt into lime with logs of wood. The loading of the boats with lime is a part of the operation that has been complained of, as on account of the shallowness of the shore the boats are moored at some little distance, and the lime is carried in baskets on the shoulders of the convicts and deposited in the boats. I found that this operation was performed only once a month; but from the spray of the sea mixing with the lime, and the shoulders of the convicts being without protection, it sometimes happens that they are slightly burnt. The eyes of the men also employed in burning lime are affected by the smoke, but not in a greater degree than in England; and I found that they were in the habit of exposing themselves, unnecessarily, to the smoke of the lime kilns, that the state of their eyes might afford a pretext for their removal from the settlement. Frequent communications take place between the lime-burners station and Newcastle, and the nature of the punishment consists in the removal of the convicts from their associates, and in the difficulty that they find in obtaining an increased quantity of food, or in exchanging their rations for tobacco.

The allowance of food to the convicts at Newcastle consists of eight pounds of wheat and four pounds of salt pork, or seven pounds of salt beef or mutton per week. Many complaints were made to me of the insufficiency of this ration, and some well grounded complaints of its bad quality, which arose from the causes already adverted to, the bad packing and curing of the salt beef and mutton from Van Dieman's Land, and the bad curing of the salt pork from Otaheite. The want of a mill to grind flour (the occasion of loss of labour to government, and real privation to the convicts) was at last supplied by the establishment of a windmill that had been begun and built by Major Morisset, the present commandant, whose attention was no sooner drawn to the necessity of such a building than he began, with the sanction of Governor Macquarrie, to undertake it. In the month of February 1820, the stone work was completed; and seeing the obvious necessity for quickly completing the other parts of so useful a work, I requested of the chief engineer, on my return from the Coal River, that no unnecessary delay might take place in completing the iron work, which could only be executed and cast in the lumber-yard at Sydney. This, however, had to compete with the iron work supplied to the mill of Mr. W. Hutchinson, the principal superintendent of convicts, and his partner at Sydney. I found upon inquiry that the iron work for them was executed in the months of February and April of the year 1820, and that the iron work for the mill at the Coal River was not received there until the 11th and 26th April, and 2d May. The windmill at Newcastle is now finished and well placed, and in a strong wind is capable of grinding ten bushels of wheat in an hour.

Major Morisset was so much impressed with the advantages of messing the convicts to prevent gambling and plunder of each others rations, that he has adopted that system whenever he could find it practicable; and as I perceived that they frequently ate their whole ration of meat at one meal, and that it was the opinion of free persons who had been long in the settlement, that the ration of flour and meat, with the small allowance of vegetables that the convicts could procure, was not sufficient for their support in hard work in such a climate, I recommended to Major Morisset to apply to Governor Macquarrie for an allowance of the meal of maize at breakfast, which has since been adopted with considerable advantage; and the convicts are enabled to reserve a part of their ration of meat for their supper. The want of clothing and bedding for the convicts at the Coal River was great during the period of my visit, and partook more largely, but justly, of the general want of clothing that was experienced at that time throughout the colony.

The punishments for offences committed at the Coal River consist of work in the chain gang, and flogging inflicted with more severity than at the other settlements.

Upon the arrival of Captain Wallis of the 46th regiment, in January 1817, to take the command, the labour of the convicts was slight and the discipline relaxed. The regulations that he introduced were effectual in reforming both, and he had recourse, in the first instance, to considerable severity of punishment to restore and maintain them; during the period of his command the overseen were allowed to strike the convicts with sticks, which at present they are not permitted to do. By the tenor of the orders that he first issued, Captain Wallis appears to have tried the effect of intimidation, and denounced certain recapture or death from the black natives to those convicts who attempted to make their escape by these means he succeeded in diminishing the number of their attempts, but they still continue to be made notwithstanding the failures that attend most of them, and the miserable and emaciated condition of those that return. I had an opportunity of seeing one convict that was brought into Windsor in a most emaciated state, after having been out three weeks in the woods, and living upon snakes and grubs, or roots of shrubs; and those who are captured and brought back to Newcastle are also greatly reduced. The native blacks that inhabit the neighbourhood of Port Hunter and Port Stephens have become very active in retaking the fugitive convicts. They accompany the soldiers who are sent in pursuit, and by the extraordinary strength of sight that they possess, improved by their daily exercise of it in pursuit of kangaroos and opossums, they can trace to a great distance, with wonderful accuracy, the impressions of the human foot. Nor are they afraid of meeting the fugitive convicts in the woods, when sent in their pursuit, without the soldiers; by their skill in throwing their long and pointed wooden darts they wound and disable them, strip them of their clothes, and bring them back as prisoners, by unknown roads and paths, to the Coal River.

They are rewarded for these enterprizes by presents of maize and blankets, and notwithstanding the apprehensions of revenge from the convicts whom they bring back, they continue to live in Newcastle and its neighbourhood, but are observed to prefer the society of the soldiers to that of the convicts.

Severe flogging, when they are in a state to bear it, is the punishment inflicted for the offence of escape, or as it is termed, running and I observed two instances a where some very deep lacerations of the back and shoulders had been made in the infliction of this punishment. The number of lashes given is not so great as is usual in military punishments, but they are inflicted with more severity.

The number of prisoners punished in the year 1819 amounted to 91, and out of these 34 were punished for attempting to make their escape from the settlement. Considering the character of the prisoners who are sent to this settlement, the crimes for which they received punishment in 1819 are not of a heinous nature. Three convicts, however, were sent to Sydney on charges of murder, and were convicted. Major Morisset felt convinced, that except for the offence of escape to other settlements, he should have very little occasion to resort to punishments after he had succeeded in constructing places of confinement during the night for the worst men, and affording separate houses for those who were well conducted.

In the year 1818, Governor Macquarrie gave permission to Captain Wallis to place a certain number of the convicts, who had conducted themselves well, in some fertile plains that adjoin Hunter's River (and that are now called Patterson's Plains, and Wallis's Plains) to cultivate land on their own account, and to hold it during the pleasure of the government.

Three free persons, consisting of the storekeeper, the assistant surgeon, and the pilot's son (and who, with the commandant and the military, form the whole free population of the settlement of Hunter's River) have received grants of land in these plains, and cultivated a small portion of them; they are at a distance of twenty miles by land and seventy by water from Newcastle; and I observed that the convict settlers, who now amount to eleven, frequently brought down with them, maize, butter, poultry and eggs, which they gave in exchange for tea, sugar, tobacco and cotton goods, that they procured from the retailers of those articles at Newcastle.

The settlers at the plains are, with the exceptions before stated, all prisoners, under long sentences, to the Coal River. The land they occupy is very fertile, though it is subject to the inundations of the river; but the produce of their farms has afforded temptations for plunder, and employment to the convicts at Newcastle, and the means of procuring luxuries, which, in a place of mere punishment, ought to have been denied. In this respect the settlement of Newcastle was remarkably adapted to that purpose: the soil, for several miles near it, is so sterile and poor, that the sheep allowed for the use of the commandant and the hospital, and the cattle that are employed in the government teams, are with difficulty supported on the natural grams; with care, and much manure, vegetables are raised in the government garden, and similar attempts are made in the small patches of ground that surround some of the convicts houses. These natural disadvantages of soil constitute some of the local advantages for punishment, for they render hard labour an indispensable condition of existence; and I was much disposed to think, that the attempt to mingle with the business of punishment the enjoyments of property, and the luxuriant produce of a fertile soil, was a deviation from that which ought to have been the principal object of the establishment. The exclusion of spirituous liquors has been very effectually maintained by good regulation and vigilance; and escapes by sea, or violent attempts to cut out vessels in the harbour, are anticipated, by obliging the crews to deliver their sails and rudders soon after they anchor.

All the convicts are required and made to attend divine service, in the church at Newcastle, on Sundays, when it is read by one of the officers of the 48th regiment. As the residence of the chaplain is now completed, the Rev. Mr. Middleton, who arrived in New South Wales in the year 1820, was appointed to do duty at Newcastle, and was to proceed thither soon after my departure. A school, for the children of the convicts and soldiers, was established by Captain Wallis of the 46th regiment, and is continued at present. The school is kept in the vestry of the church by one of the convicts, who had suffered the punishment of transportation to the Coal River; and the progress of the children, as well as their appearance, was very creditable.

I cannot conclude this part of my subject without expressing to your Lordship the satisfaction that I derived from observing the great attention paid by Major Morisset to every part his difficult and disagreeable duty; his vigilance and constant superintendence of the works, his attention to the complaints of the convicts, his patient investigation of them, and his efforts to maintain discipline, are equally conspicuous and successful: although aware of the necessity of inflicting severe punishments, he has always accompanied them with admonitions, calculated to impress upon the minds of other convicts his reluctance to resort to severity, except upon occasions where it was obviously required; these occasions have entirely arisen from the imperfect security against escape that the situation of the place afforded, weakened as it was by the connivance of the constables, and the daily increasing knowledge of the country that separates Hunter's River from the settled districts of New South Wales. In the punishment of all other crimes Major Morisset has strictly obeyed the instructions with which he was furnished, and has endeavoured to adapt them to the characters of the several convicts, avoiding corporal punishment where he could, and endeavouring to prevent the commission of crime, by taking away temptations to it. The good judgment of this officer has been no less conspicuous in the public works that he has conducted, by directing the means that he possessed to the accomplishment of objects that were immediately required for the purposes of the establishment, and attending to the solidity and durability of their construction, rather than to their ornamental effect.

Nature and extent of Remissions of Punishment, and their effects upon the Convicts.

RESERVING for future observation an account of the buildings and works at Newcastle, and having now concluded a description of the penal character of that establishment, I Shall proceed to submit to your Lordship a statement of the several mitigations and remissions of sentence that have been bestowed upon the convicts in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, by Governor Macquarrie, during the last 10 years, in the exercise of the authority that he derives from the statute passed in the 30th year of his late Majesty's reign, c. 47.

The authority of Governor Macquarrie to mitigate or remit the sentences of convicts transported to New South Wales, has been derived from the general power that His Majesty is authorized by this statute to confer on governors of New South Wales; for the commission that was given to Governor Macquarrie in the month of May 1819, and under which he has acted ever since, contains no special power, although His Majesty's instructions of the same date recite and refer to it.

Governor Macquarrie's commission authorizes him to pardon in criminal matters, and to grant reprieves; but that power evidently applies to crimes committed in New South Wales, and not to offences committed in Great Britain. The effects of this omission upon the absolute and conditional pardons, conferred by Governor Macquarrie, are too obvious to require further explanation; and they furnish an additional reason for the final confirmation of pardons, that is now held to be necessary, before remitted convicts can enter into the full enjoyment of the benefits that such exercise of authority was intended to convey.

Until the first declaration issued by Governor Macquarrie on the 22d June 1811, no period of the term of service for the several classes of convicts had been known or declared, at which applications for the conditional or entire remission of their sentences were to be made. The declaration alluded to begins by stating, "the importunity with which the governor had been troubled, of applicants for free and conditional pardon; many of whom were very undeserving such high indulgences"; and of the necessity for preventing such encroachments upon his time, by the declaration and strict observance of the following rules: first, that it being the governor's unalterable intention to extend the high boon of royal clemency only to such persons as had, by a long and uninterrupted period of good conduct, and sincere contrition of their past offences, evinced themselves worthy of such favour and indulgence; he declared that no convict under sentence of transportation for life need apply for a free pardon or emancipation, except in a case of extraordinary merit, until after a lapse of several years of servitude, and fidelity of conduct; and convicts for limited terms of transportation were to experience no remission of their original sentence until they had served one-half of the time at least.

Tickets of leave were not to be given until the applicants had served three years, at least, for the government, or the settlers to whom they were assigned, subject always to good conduct during that time certified by the magistrate or clergyman of the district in which the applicant resided.

The declaration further stated, that the governor desired it to be clearly and distinctly understood, that having laid down the foregoing system for his own government, he was determined not to deviate from it in any instance whatever.

In the month of January 1813, a new regulation took place in a government and general order, in which it was declared that very little attention had been shown to the former orders respecting applications of convicts, and that they should thenceforth only be made on one day in the year, viz. the first Monday in each succeeding month of December. The clergymen and magistrates were enjoined not to sign certificates for any persons with whose real character they were not well acquainted, and that the certificates must express their considering the applicants to be sober, honest, and industrious.

Absolute pardons were not to be applied for by convicts for life, until they had been 15 years in the colony, nor by convicts for limited terms, until they had resided at least three-fourths of those terms.

Conditional pardons, or emancipations, were not to be granted to convicts for life until they had been to years in the colony; nor to convicts for limited terms, until they had resided at least two-thirds of their original sentences. The same regulation that was declared in the year 1811, respecting tickets of leave, was repeated.

I am not aware of any subsequent regulation on this subject; and it is considered that these last regulations are still in force.

Such are the rules by which Governor Macquarrie has professed to guide himself in the exercise of this important branch of his duty. Upon several occasions, however, since the promulgation of these rules, he has thought it expedient to suspend their operation, in consequence of the numbers of convicts that had in the years immediately preceding received absolute or conditional pardons, or tickets of leave. Suspensions of general applications, stated to be founded upon this principle of expediency, were ordered to take place on the 16th November 1816, on the 7th November 1818, (except for tickets of leave), and again on the 11th November 1820. These orders were not observed; for in the year 1817, 10 free pardons, 16 conditional pardons, and 202 tickets of leave, were granted. In 1819, 21 free pardons, 56 conditional pardons, and 205 tickets of leave and in 1820, 9 free pardons, 191 conditional pardons, and 365 tickets of leave, were granted.

The terms of these different species of indulgence are to be found in the Appendix. An absolute pardon of the governor of New South Wales contains a declaration under his hand, and the seal of the territory, that the unexpired term of transportation of the convict is absolutely remitted to him. It is registered in the secretary's office, and a fee of 5s. is paid there to the principal clerk, and 6d. to the government printer.

A conditional pardon contains a declaration of the governor, under his hand and official seal, that the unexpired term of the convict's sentence is conditionally remitted to him; and the condition is expressed to be, that he shall continue to reside within the limits of the government of New South Wales during the space of the original sentence, under pain of incurring all the penalties of re-appearing in Great Britain, for and during the term of his original sentence or order of transportation; or as if the remission had never been granted.

The ticket of leave contains a declaration of the governor's pleasure to dispense with the attendance, at government work, of the convict holding it, and of his being permitted to employ himself (off the government stores) in any lawful occupation, within any given district, for his own advantage, during good behaviour, or until the governor's pleasure shall be made known. It is either expressed to be by command of the governor and signed by his secretary, or it is signed by the governor himself.

The certificates issued by the secretary attest, that after an examination of the indents, so many years have expired since sentence of that term was passed on the party entitled to it, describing the year and ship in which he arrived, and ending with a declaration, that by reason of the expired service, the said party is restored to all the rights of a free subject.

To all these documents a description of the person is added, and they are registered in separate books in the office of the secretary to the governor.

I will first submit to your Lordship a statement of the number of these several kinds of remissions of punishment that have been conferred by Governor Macquarrie, since he assumed the government in New South Wales; the manner in which they are granted, and the considerations for granting them; and lastly, the effect and rights that they have been held to confer upon the parties.

From the year 1810 to the year 1820, Governor Macquarrie has granted 366 free pardons, 1,365 conditional pardons, and 2,319 tickets of leave. A nominal list of the convicts that have received these remissions of sentence, in each year, from 1810 to to 1820, is to be found in the Appendix; distinguishing the period of the conviction of the parties in England, the year of their arrival in New South Wales, and the date of their remission of sentence.

These particulars I thought important, as I was not certain whether they had been fully stated, or regularly transmitted for your Lordship's information, during the whole of the above period.

By the first, regulations that appeared upon the subject of remissions of sentence, applications might be made for them to the governor in every month of the year; but by the regulation of 1813, they have been restricted to one day in the year. This restriction arose from the inconvenience that was felt by the governor in the augmentation of the business he had to transact, and the pretexts that the applications afforded to the convicts for perpetual absences, and journies to Sydney, to present their applications. I was present at the government house on the 3th January 1820, the day to which the petitions that were to have been presented in November 1819 had been deferred, in consequence of the governor's illness. The crowd, upon this occasion, was very great; and observing their impatience, the governor addressed them, and informed them that he would grant no tickets of leave to those who had not been three years in the country, nor any other indulgence, except in conformity to the terms of his proclamation of the year 1813. This address produced no effect. There was great difficulty in preserving order in the presentation of the petitions that were delivered to the governor; who, on perusing the statements, and looking at the certificates, either wrote in pencil, on the margin, the initial letters of the indulgence that was to be given, or rejected the petitions altogether. The petitions presented upon this occasion exceeded 700; they were collected by the major of brigade and two clerks, who, with the superintendent of convicts, were the only persons present.

The petitions to the governor for indulgences are generally drawn up by the clerks to the magistrates, or the convicts who are expert in writing: they set forth the year, and ship, in which the petitioner arrived in the colony, and his services in it, and, concluding with a complimentary appeal to the governor's benevolence and humanity, pray for such remission of sentence as he may think fit to bestow. They are signed either by the magistrates or the chaplains of the districts; but I observed that the certificates of the different magistrates varied as much in their form, as they did in the degree of their recommendation: in some cases there was a simple signature of one or more magistrates, in others there was a mere recommendation of the petitioner's case to the governor; but in none did I see that the terms of the governor's order for the year 1813 were strictly complied with, or that the petitioners were certified to be "honest, sober and industrious". In the district of Windsor, the magistrates have generally met previous to the day of presenting petitions to the governor, and have made a selection of persons whom they thought most deserving in the several districts, and forwarded a list, with their petitions, to the governor.

The applications of the convicts in the employment of government are signed by the respective superintendents, and at Sydney by the chief engineer.

In the course of my attendance at the government house, on the presentation of petitions, my attention was particularly drawn to the numerous violations of the governor's orders that had been committed by all the magistrates, in signing certificates and recommendations for convicts, whose services had not reached the several terms appointed by the governor's order of the year 1813; and it was the more observable, as the governor had addressed circular letters to them previous to the period of receiving petitions of this kind, in which they were requested to pay particular attention to these points. The instances of this inattention were more numerous in the petitions signed by Captain Piper, the naval officer, than in those of any other magistrate; and they were less excusable in him, because, from constantly residing in the town of Sydney, and from giving very little attendance at the meetings of the magistrates there, he had fewer opportunities of knowing the conduct of the applicants than the other magistrates who resided in the country.

After the petitions are received, the governor makes out a list of those to whom indulgences are to be granted, and it is sent to the secretary's office, where, upon a reference to the original indents, the documents are filled up and prepared for the governor's signature.

The indents transmitted in the earlier periods of transportation to New South Wales stated in numbers, and not in words at length, the periods for which the convicts were sentenced; and in several columns of these indentures I observed, that, to save trouble in repeating the figures 7 or 14, the letters D had been used. I also observed, that in the indents of the same period the sentences and dates had been altogether omitted, and these omissions have been noticed, as they occurred, in the returns from Mr. Campbell's office. In the indentures that arrived by the ship Providence, on the 4th July 1811, from Ireland, the names of two men, James Nowlan and Mich Glennans, had been omitted: the sentence of one was unknown to him, and he was considered to have been transported for life; the other made an admission to that effect. The name of John Streetham was without particulars of his age, place, time of trial, or sentence; and the name of Eleanor Doyle was in the same situation: the indents were dated at Dublin, and signed "Richmond", and "Charles Saxton". In referring to one of the old indents of the year 1809, I found that two alterations had been made in sentences for seven years, and they had been converted into sentences for life. I did not observe more than these instances of palpable alteration, but there were several names in which erasures had been made; it is therefore very desirable that the sentence of every convict should be stated at full length in letters, and not in figures, and that the same practice should be observed in this respect as has prevailed of late years in the transmission of the indents from the office of the clerk of arraigns for the county of Middlesex.

All the original indents of convicts transported to New South Wales, excepting those that arrived by the Indefatigable, have been kept in the custody of Mr. J. T. Campbell, since the arrival of Governor Macquarrie. They were deposited in a wooden box, in a room of his official residence, of which he always kept the key; but, considering the importance of these documents, I do not think that the place in which they were kept was sufficiently secure.

Mr. Campbell's official residence did not afford any such security, and he felt a delicacy in making applications to Governor Macquarrie for any additions or improvement that might appear to cast a reflection upon the defects of a plan that the governor had approved. A book has been compiled by Mr. Campbell, and is kept In his own office, containing a list of all persons who apply for certificates, tickets of leave, and other indulgences: this book is not permitted to be seen by the clerks, and is made out upon the applications of the convicts, and by reference to the original indents; and has been considered by Mr. Campbell to be so authentic as to supersede any subsequent reference to them; separate registers are also kept of certificates, tickets of leave, and of remissions of sentence, with the usual particulars of time of trial and sentence. Certificates of expiration of sentence are issued on the first Monday in every month; an arrangement which, although convenient for the office of the secretary, has in several instances exposed convicts to undue detention in their master's service, and magistrates, to the consequences of inflicting illegal punishment.

On referring to the returns, it appears, that out of the total number of free pardons granted by Governor Macquarrie since the publication of his last regulation, on the 9th January 1813, until the 31st December 1820, there have been granted 124 free pardons to convicts transported for life, in which there have been 26 exceptions to the regulation; 24 have been granted to convicts for 14 years, in which there have been 11 exceptions; and 35 to convicts for seven years, in which there have been three exceptions.

It further appears, that, in the same period of time, Governor Macquarrie has granted 892 conditional pardons to convicts for life, and that in these there have occurred 220 exceptions to his regulations. In those granted to convicts for 14 years, 55 cases of exception; and in those granted to convicts for seven years, there have been only five cases of exception. Of the total number of tickets of leave that have been granted to the several descriptions of convicts by Governor Macquarrie since the month of January 1813, and amounting to 1,655, there have occurred 450 exceptions to the regulations. Previous to the period at which they were published, and more especially in the year 1810, which was that of Governor Macquarrie's arrival, six persons transported for life appear to have received absolute pardons from the governor, at the expiration of two years from the date of their arrival in the colony; one person of the same class in one year, one in four years, and one in six years. These cases were strongly recommended by Lieutenant-governor Patterson and Lieutenant-governor Foveaux to the consideration of Governor Macquarrie; and in consequence of the promises that had been made to the individuals, the pardons that had been promised to them were confirmed.

The considerations for which these several remissions and indulgences have been bestowed, are not expressed in any list that has been taken or kept by Governor Macquarrie; but lists have been kept, and are signed by him, of the particulars of the condition of the convicts to whom remissions of sentence or tickets of leave have been given, with the names of the chaplains or magistrates by whom they have been recommended.

The general principle upon which Governor Macquarrie has professed to grant emancipations and indulgences, has been that of reference to the good conduct of the applicants; and he has generally considered, that the safest channel of information upon this important point, was that of the magistrates and chaplains of the colony. If reference had been made either by these individuals to the records of the criminal proceedings before them, or by Governor Macquarrie, to the quarterly returns that were transmitted to him, negative evidence, at least, of the good conduct in the colony, of the several applicants might have been obtained, or positive evidence of their misconduct. Such means of information, however, for reasons that have been stated before, are not made use of upon these occasions; and in cases where the magistrates have no knowledge themselves of the applicants, they have appealed to the chief constable, or to the district constable, for information. Some of the magistrates, however, refuse to give these certificates to convicts who have resided out of their immediate neighbourhood, of whom they have heard or known nothing; and they are then obliged to repair to others, who are less scrupulous, and more accommodating.

Another principle by which Governor Macquarrie has been guided in bestowing pardons and indulgences, is that of considering them as rewards for any particular labour or enterprize. It was upon this principle, that the men who were employed in working upon the Bathurst road, in the year 1815, and those who contributed to that operation by the loan of their own carts and horses, or of those that they procured, obtained pardons, emancipations, and tickets of leave. To 39 men who were employed as labourers in this work, three free pardons were given, one ticket of leave, and 35 emancipations; and two of them only had held tickets of leave before they commenced their labour. Seven convicts received emancipations for supplying horses and carts for the carriage of provisions and stores as the party was proceeding six out of this number having previously held tickets of leave.

Eight other convicts (four of whom held tickets of leave) received emancipations for assisting with carts, and one horse to each, in the transport of provisions and baggage for the use of Governor Macquarrie and his suite, on their journey from the river Nepean to Bathurst, in the year 1816, a service that did not extend beyond the period of five weeks, and was attended with no risk, and very little exertion.

Between the months of January 1816 and June 1818, nine convicts, of whom six held tickets of leave, obtained emancipations for sending carts and horses to convey provisions and baggage from Paramatta to Bathurst, for the use of Mr. Oxley, the surveyor-general, in his two expeditions into the interior of the country; and in the same period, 23 convict labourers and mechanics obtained emancipations for labour and service performed at Bathurst.

The nature of the services performed by these convicts, and the manner in which some of them were recommended, excited much surprise in the colony, as well as great suspicion of the purity of the channels through which the recommendations passed.

Those who were employed in making the Bathurst road, were selected by Mr. Cox and Richard Lewis, both of whom have before been mentioned in the superintendence of that and the subsequent operations.

The first principle that was kept in view by these persons in the recommendations of the labourers, was, capacity for labour; and it is stated by some of the free persons, who assisted in it, that the men worked hard, and that they were excited to exertion by the hope of receiving emancipations, which is certainly the strongest moral incentive that can be applied to the compulsory labour of convicts.

The recommendations of persons who lent their horses and carts were still more suspicious, and in their nature more objectionable. Few of the persons recommended, had to undergo any degree of personal hardship, or the performance of any labour; and the following persons amongst others, viz. Robert Hazard, Bradbury, Carpenter, Hodges, Tindal, and Joel Josephs, only lent their carts and horses, which were driven by their assigned servants; or hired carts of other persons, to enable them to perform the only condition, and to pay the only price of their freedom.

When the attainment of emancipations was placed upon this footing, there became many candidates for them, and a belief prevailed, that Richard Lewis was the person to whom the first applications were to be made.

It was also perceived, that Mr. Cox, to whom the management of the Bathurst road, and the making of the Richmond road were intrusted, exercised a very powerful influence in the dispensation of remissions of sentence and tickets of leave.

It is to this influence that is to be attributed the success that Mr. Cox has met with in his improvement of the convicts that were placed under him. Men, who had been rejected by others, and who have returned from the Coal River, have willingly entered into the service of Mr. Cox, and worked for him industriously, under his promises to obtain tickets of leave, or emancipations for them: Mr. Cox also had the means of transferring to his own farms the occasional services of men who were working on the roads, under an expectation of emancipation, and obtained services from them gratuitously, which other persons could with difficulty obtain, and must have paid for. The evidence of William O'Bryan, is very pointed upon this subject, and its truth has not been denied by Mr. Cox, who had ample opportunities of observing upon it.

In the same way and under the same influence, four of the men who worked very frequently at Bathurst for Mr. Cox, and whose labour was taken in exchange by him for that of other workmen that he had lent to government, received emancipations upon his recommendation.

I certainly believe, that in making these recommendations, Mr. Cox followed only the example of other magistrates, and masters of convicts in the colony, who have found, that the best way to stimulate their industry is to promise them recommendations to the governor, after the performance of any given quantity of work. There are other masters, who are not disposed to make such sacrifices of principle to profit, and it is only by the instrumentality of such persons, and by taking care also, that their refusal to certify the good conduct of a servant does not proceed from a selfish wish to retain his services, that this very important part of the reformatory influence of the colony can be preserved in purity, or prevented from becoming a source, either of private corruption, or of continued oppression.

As the principle of rewarding convicts with emancipations and pardons for services, similar to those performed on the Bathurst and Richmond roads, interferes with the operation of the principle, upon which, alone, they should be given; and which Governor Macquarrie, in his first orders on these subjects, very emphatically proclaimed, "as the invariable rule by which he intended to govern himself for the future;" the departure from that rule, for the purpose of cheaply obtaining services that would have been chargeable to the colonial fluids, has tended to bring into suspicion and disrepute the exercise of a prerogative that should of all others be most free from both. It produced a belief, that the rewards of good conduct were become the subjects of sale and barter, through the corruption of the agents employed.

I think it necessary to state here, that although many persons in the colony have regretted the facility with which Governor Macquarrie has yielded to the recommendations for pardons and emancipations upon these occasions, and have considered that this facility has produced an unfortunate effect upon the minds of the convicts in the colony; yet I never have heard the slightest suspicion cast upon the purity of his own motives, or the integrity of his conduct, either in these, or in other cases of granting indulgences.

The conduct of some of the persons who received emancipation for the services before alluded to is not undeserving of notice; Thomas Gorman, who acted as storekeeper to the Bathurst road party, and afterwards at Bathurst, appears, by the acknowledgment and in the language of Mr. Cox, who recommended him, to have been "a consummate villain."—Thomas Carpenter, after receiving his emancipation for conveying stores to Bathurst for Mr. Oxley's expedition, became the tenant of a public house in Sydney in the month of February 1820, and contrary to the recommendation of the magistrates at Sydney; in four months after that period, he was convicted by the criminal court of receiving stolen goods, amongst which was found some wearing apparel of the aide-de-camp to Governor Macquarrie.—John Hodges had received a ticket of leave prior to his sending his horse and cart for the same service as Carpenter, in consequence of his having married a young woman who was a native of the colony, and of having purchased land. He afterwards took a house, and lived in Paramatta, where he sold spirits without a license, and was notorious for affording reception to the servants of settlers, and for promoting licentiousness and debauchery. He was convicted twice during my residence in the colony of selling spirits without a licence, and was abandoned by his wife; but in consequence of a promise that had been made to him by Governor Macquarrie, that he should have a licence on condition of building a good house in Paramatta, I find that be since received one in the year 1821, after having performed the condition.—Robert Hazard had been transported a second time to the colony, and for life in the year 1815. He immediately received a ticket of leave on his arrival, and married the daughter of a person who had kept an inn at Paramatta, and who had some property; with that, and with the profits of a successful investment of tobacco that he had been allowed to make while his ship, the Indefatigable, was at Rio de Janeiro, he established himself at an inn in Sydney that was licensed in the name of his wife, who was the daughter of a convict. Here he conducted himself well, and his house continued to be the resort of the most respectable settlers in the country until he died, in the year 1820.—William Bradbury obtained a grant of land soon after he received his emancipation, and has occupied it ever since. He was one of those who accompanied Governor Macquarrie in us last expedition to the newly discovered lakes; and gave his personal attendance, with his horse and cart, receiving payment from the police fund for that service. This man bore a good character, and had succeeded better than many others of his class in the cultivation of his farm.—David Lindley acted as storekeeper at Bathurst from the year 1817 to the year 1819, and having received a free pardon from His Majesty, on account of circumstances unconnected with Ins conduct in New South Wales, he returned home in fee year 1820. His character was stated to me to have been good, although I had not the means of ascertaining whether he had resisted the great temptations to which he was exposed, by the system upon which Mr. Cox had been suffered to conduct the government works, and the issues of provisions at Bathurst.

Emancipations and tickets of leave have been likewise given to convicts for services rendered by them in exploring the country. On the 12th December 1818, Governor Macquarrie gave absolute pardons to five men who had accompanied Mr. Oxley in two expeditions, and to two men who had accompanied him in the last; and he also gave conditional pardons to five others who had accompanied Mr. Oxley in his last expedition. These pardons were bestowed in consequence of the favourable report that Mr. Oxley had made to the governor of their services, and of the hardships that they had endured. I was informed by him that they had conducted themselves well in the colony since they had received their remissions of sentence; and all of those who had received their free pardons have remained in it. But as a proof of the difficulty of obtaining concurrent testimony respecting the character of convicts, it is only necessary to refer to the observations made by Mr. Cox respecting the character of Patrick Hume and James Blake, two of the men who received absolute pardons in 1818, and whom, on reference to their former conduct, he describes "as persons scarcely to be equalled even in the wretched society of the convicts of New South Wales". It must be observed, that Mr. Cox had sent these men to be tried before a criminal court on a charge of poisoning the horses that were prepared for Mr. Oxley's expedition, a charge of which they were acquitted, but of which Mr. Cox still thinks that they were guilty; and that they had afterwards related to Mr. Oxley, on his arrival at Bathurst, as well as to other persons, the nature of Mr. Cox's proceedings there.

I found that Patrick Burne was acting as superintendent stock-keeper of several large herds of cattle in and near Sidmouth Plains, and he accompanied one in my expedition from Bathurst to the lakes; and James Blake was acting as superintendent and overseer on the farm of Mr. Assistant Commissary General Cordeaux, and both of these men were much trusted and commended by their employers.

In consequence of the suspensions in the annual distribution of pardons and remissions of sentence, some inconvenience has arisen in their having been withheld from those to whom promises had been made by Governor Macquarrie and Mr. Cox, for services performed either at Bathurst, or in those that he subsequently superintended upon the Richmond and western roads. To remedy this inconvenience, Mr. Cox and the magistrates of Windsor have thought themselves justified in giving passes to these men to work, as it is termed, "upon their own hands", and free from molestation, till they should obtain their promised emancipations.

The attention of the other magistrates, and of the chief constables, had been drawn to this circumstance by the frequent appearance of the men, before them with a pass, which, having been given more frequently by Mr. Cox, than by any other person, was vulgarly termed "Captain Cox's liberty", and at last it was brought to the notice of Governor Macquarrie, at the muster of the inhabitants that took place in 1819. A circular letter was soon afterwards addressed by his secretary to the magistrates, requesting that all convicts with these passes might be called in, and that none should in future be given or admitted, except those of the principal superintendent at Sydney, which were given to convicts assigned in remuneration of overseers, clerks and superintendents.

The system of granting tickets of leave to convicts on their arrival, who are able to support themselves by their labour, or by the means that they have brought with them, operates as an encouragement to industry; but, at the same time, it too quickly and too abruptly elevates them from a condition of punishment to a condition of comparative enjoyment; there are many instances at Sydney of the successful exertion of these people as retail traders; but their industry feeds their vanity as well as their vices, and they speedily lose that sense of humility and contrition which is essential to a state of punishment and reform.

Another evil arising from it is, the state of apparent equality in which it places them with that part of the population that came free to the colony; and with those who, having been sent as convicts at a period when similar indulgences were not so freely granted, feel surprise and some degree of mortification, when they see them bestowed upon persons who, in their opinion, have done nothing to deserve them.

It must be acknowledged that there is a great difficulty in disposing of those convicts who have been in the higher situations of life, and to whose attainments some respect is naturally paid even in a state of punishment. It was a sense of this difficulty, together with the recommendation that Mr. J. T. Campbell, the governor's secretary, had given of Lawrence Halloran, and a want of knowledge of his character and previous conduct, that induced Governor Macquarrie to bestow upon him a ticket of leave immediately upon his arrival in the colony. Mr. Campbell had known Halloran at the Cape of Good Hope previous to his altercations with the Earl of Caledon, and his attempts to defame the character of General Grey, and believed, as many other persons did, in the rectitude of his principles, and the general propriety of his conduct. Mr. Campbell was not aware of the circumstances that have since transpired, and that have so much affected both; and he considered that the talents possessed by Halloran, might be as usefully employed at Sydney as they formerly had been at Cape Town, in the education of youth. Halloran accordingly received a ticket of leave. He was no sooner in possession of this indulgence, than he made a report to the governor of the conduct of Captain Lambe of the ship Baring, and preferred several charges against him, which were referred to the investigation of the magistrates. Halloran, during this period, had been observed to be much in the confidence of Mr. S. Lord, of Sydney, and resided at his house; and Captain Lambe being apprehensive that his case might receive some prejudice from that circumstance, requested Mr. Justice Field to attend the bench. Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, Mr. Wentworth, and Mr. Brookes, attended also. Four of these magistrates concurred in reporting to Governor Macquarrie their opinion, that the charges of Halloran against Captain Lambe, were both false and malicious, and they ordered that his ticket of leave should be taken away, and that he should be sent to government labour. This order was not carried into immediate effect, and Mr. J. Field having met Halloran in the streets of Sydney on the following day, and feeling both surprise and indignation at such a sudden and apparent reversal of the determination of the preceding day, he re-assembled the magistrates, and after inquiring of the superintendent of convicts whether an order had been given by him for placing Halloran in the convict barrack, they were informed that such an order had been given, but that on proceeding to apprise Halloran of it, the superintendent saw Mr. Campbell, who said, that he would be responsible for his appearance whenever he was called for. The magistrates feeling that this act of Mr. J. T. Campbell was an interference with their authority, as well as a reflection upon its exercise, issued a summons for his immediate appearance before them; with which he refused to comply, on account of the unseasonable hour in which it reached him. The magistrates forthwith made a representation to Governor Macquarrie of Mr. Campbell's disobedience, which produced from the governor a strong and just reproof. On the following day, Halloran was again ordered and declared to be a convict in the service of the crown; but to prevent the consequences of his being compelled to labour, and to live in the convict barrack, he was permitted to be assigned as servant to Mr. Simon Lord, and afterwards received his ticket of leave. He then established a school, which is much encouraged, and is well attended by the sons of free persons, as well as of those who have been convicts; and Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, and Mr. J. T. Campbell, have attended at a public examination of his scholars, and testified their approbation of their progress and attainments. I was solicited also by Halloran to attend upon one of these occasions, but having had some previous knowledge of his conduct and character in England, and bearing in mind the admonitions that were transmitted by your Lordship to Governor Macquarrie upon that subject, I declined Halloran's invitation; but visited his school on the same day in which I visited the other schools at Sydney. I found that the school was well conducted, and the progress that had been made by the scholars, in a short period after its establishment, added one more to the many proofs that have been exhibited, of Halloran's skill in the art of instruction. It was, however, justly remarked by the Reverend Mr. Cowper, who accompanied me in my visit, that neither the Bible nor any book of religious instruction, was used or taught in Halloran's school. It having been suggested to him that some representations that I had made to Governor Macquarrie, operated unfavourably to his hopes of obtaining a conditional pardon, he applied to me, and earnestly entreated my interference in his favour, urging the hardship of ins situation, and the comparative insignificance of the crime for which he was suffering. He expressed his fixed determination of never returning to England, and and of continuing to reside in New South Wales for the remainder of his life. I observed, in reply, that I had the best grounds for believing that a very just opinion had been formed of his real character and conduct by His Majesty's government, and that I did not consider it to be either consistent with that opinion, or with the view that I had myself taken of his situation, past or present, to relax in the slightest degree the control over his conduct, that was afforded by the terms of his ticket of leave; and acting upon the nine principle, I strongly and repeatedly urged Governor Macquarrie to decline any applications from Halloran for further indulgence, and the governor promised that my suggestion should be observed, and that his ticket of leave should be again withdrawn, in case of any offensive or improper conduct.

The situation of Halloran was thus in no respect worse than that which he had left in England, with the exception of being separated from his family. It was his good fortune to meet with those who sympathized with his condition, and who, from ignorance of his real character, and from a natural recurrence to their own fate, joined with him in reprobation of the severity and injustice of the law by which he had suffered. He was regarded, therefore, at Sydney as an unhappy victim, and the reports of his real character were disbelieved, or imputed to the effects of some concealed enmity. Halloran has forwarded through me, an application to your Lordship for permission for his family to join him in New South Wales; I have learnt that this permission has already been granted, but I cannot help submitting it to your Lordship as my opinion, that no further indulgence should be extended to Halloran than that which he at present enjoys; and that a particular instruction should be given to the local authorities in New South Wales, to institute occasional inquiries into his conduct in the management of his school.

Another conspicuous instance of early indulgence was afforded in the person of Thomas Wells, a convict transported to New South Wales for 14 years, for embezzling the property of his master. His attainments had attracted the notice of Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, on his voyage from England to assume the government of Van Dieman's Land in 1817; and on his arrival at Port Jackson, he recommended Wells to Governor Macquarrie, who gave him a ticket of leave, and he then accompanied Lieutenant-governor Sorrell to Hobart Town, where he was appointed to the situation of clerk in the secretary's office. In this situation he has performed nearly the whole of the duties of secretary, and has approved himself to the lieutenant-governor by his diligence and ability; he has become possessed of a very good house in Hobart Town, conspicuous for its neatness and even elegance; and joined with a Mr. Brodribb, a convict attorney, in the purchase of some cattle and land, formerly the property of Major Mackenzie of the 46th regiment.

The terms of this purchase were brought to my notice by an agent of Major Mackenzie, who arrived at Hobart Town during my residence there, and they were of such a nature as to preclude him from having any remedy at law against the purchasers, and to leave them in the unmolested possession of property for which they had never paid. Upon my representing these circumstances to them, they both disavowed any knowledge of a stipulation which they admitted to be fraudulent, and insisted that they had sustained a loss by the purchase. This circumstance was not known, but I do not think it would have affected the character of these persons in Hobart Town. I could not help regretting it, not so much on account of the parties themselves, as on account of the situations they held. T. Wells was the principal channel through which all communications passed between individuals of every description and the lieutenant-governor; he was even the depositary of the copies of the indents of the convicts sent to Van Dieman's Land, until I pointed out to the lieutenant-governor the extreme danger of such a trust.

No complaints were made to me of any corruption in Mr. Wells in the dispensation of the many favours that proceeded through his hands; but he was represented to be presumptuous, and even insolent.

I cannot omit this opportunity of stating, that men, who have been convicts, are not fit persons to convey either the favours or the commands of the local government; and lam persuaded, that the lieutenant-governor would not have selected the individual in question for the office in which he had been so long continued, if he could have obtained any better or less exceptionable assistance.

The convicts that have been employed by government, are recommended to the governor for remissions of sentence by the chief engineer, or the principal and other superintendents of convicts at the different stations; and it appears by the evidence of the superintendent Hutchinson, that he undertakes that duty occasionally for individuals, who wish to recommend their convict servants; and the statement of their merits is confided to him, and conveyed verbally to the governor.

The ordinary statement of the claims of the government convicts, is not always made in writing to the governor; but a list is made out of those whom the chief engineer and the principal superintendent join in recommending, and that list is transmitted, when approved, to the secretary's office. Some reluctance, however, appears to have taken place in that office, on some late occasions, in making out tickets of leave for convicts, to whom that indulgence had been promised by the principal superintendent. Two convicts, Morris and Peate, who had worked for the superintendent at Pennant Hills, in cutting timber for his houses and mill, had received promises from him of tickets of leave. They were desired to deliver their petitions to him, and not to the governor; and they complied with that request, receiving from the principal superintendent certificates that they had been promised tickets of leave by Governor Macquarrie. Upon repairing to the office of Mr. Secretary Campbell, in three weeks afterwards, for their tickets of leave, they were informed that their names were not in the governor's list, and that no tickets of leave would be delivered to them.

A complaint of the breach of promise to these two convicts was made to me through Mr. G. D. Mathew, who, it appears, had engaged the services of one of them, in sawing wood for himself, and upon the expectation of his obtaining a ticket of leave. When the circumstances of the case were represented to Governor Macquarrie, the tickets of leave were granted. The principal superintendent of convicts acknowledged that he had given the certificates to the two men, and alleged that their names had been inserted in the list of his recommendations to Governor Macquarrie; the certificates being given to them for the purpose of identifying their persons, when they went to the secretary's office to apply for the tickets of leave. Mr. J. T. Campbell observing, that the names, so certified, were not included in the list signed by Governor Macquarrie, that had been transmitted to him, refused to make out the tickets of leave. From all the circumstances attending this transaction, I am led to infer that the principal superintendent had either not included the men's names in his list, or had only verbally mentioned them to Governor Macquarrie, and depended upon the weight and authority that he hoped would be given to his certificates, when they were presented at the secretary's office. Morris stated, that he had received from the principal superintendent, certain advances in goods for the wood he had sawn for him, but that at the time of his obtaining his ticket of leave, a balance was due to him on the account. The rate of payment for the work was the same as that which is usually made to sawyers; and Morris considered, and acknowledged, that the work that he performed for the principal superintendent, was without reference to the recommendation for the ticket of leave that had been promised when the work was finished.

Although I cannot positively infer, from the evidence, that the motive of the principal superintendent in obtaining the ticket of leave for Morris was a reduction in the price of the work that he did for him; yet it is one of the many cases of suspicion that are furnished by the concession of such ample powers of recommendation, and such a large share of confidence to this individual, by Governor Macquarrie.

Mr. Cox, it would appear, is less delicate in his negociations with convict labourers; for he has expressly stipulated, with some of them, that their tickets of leave would be given for the performance of a given quantity of labour, for which subsistence only, and no other remuneration, was given.

In Van Dieman's Land, a complaint was made to me, by Mr. Anthony Fenn Kemp, a retail merchant of Hobart Town, and formerly a captain in the 102d regiment, that tickets of leave had been given by Lieutenant-governor Sorrell in a very profuse manner, and without any reference to the character and conduct of the parties: the same complaint was also made to me from other quarters; and I made a particular inquiry into the circumstances.

By returns, from the secretary's office, it appeared, that 79 tickets of leave, that had been promised by Lieutenant-colonel Davey, were confirmed by Lieutenant-governor Sorrell on his assumption of the command in 1817, and that 37 more were granted by himself in that year; 120 were granted in the year 1818; 227 in 1819; and 47 up to the month of February 1820, the period of my visit to Van Dieman's Land; making a total of 510 in the space of three years: of these, no less than 184 were recommended by the acting engineers, Captain Nairn and Major Bell, either from length of time in the country, or meritorious exertion in public service, with good character; 133 had been recommended by their employers, and their conduct had been certified by the bench of magistrates; 46 had been recommended by the commandant of Port Dalrymple; to by the lieutenant-governor himself; and 5 by Governor Macquarrie; and 29 were recommended for services in making a road that was undertaken by a contractor; and 7 for services in Macquarrie Harbour.

Major Bell has stated, that in consequence of the want of information of the characters and previous conduct of the convicts, on his succeeding to the situation of inspector of works at Hobart Town, in the month of June 1818, he required all those who applied to work for a ticket of leave, to produce, from the police magistrate, certificates that they had not been convicted of theft since their arrival in the colony. Very few of the convicts being able to produce such a certificate, Major Bell was under the necessity of looking amongst those, who were lately arrived, and he selected from them, those who, from information, appeared to have the best characters. They were employed in the operation of making and improving the road from Hobart Town to Austin's Ferry; Which, though one of no difficulty, mat was very important to the settlement; and as no good superintendents could be found at the time, the expectations of tickets of leave operated as securities for the good behaviour of the men. Two men only out of 29, the number employed upon that service, forfeited their claims to the promised reward, on account of thefts that they committed.

With a view to ascertain the correctness of this information, I had reference to the registry of offences committed by the convicts, and punished by the magistrates; and, by the facility of reference that Mr. Humphrey's books afforded me, I made an extract of the names of those convicts who had been punished, and of the dates of their punishment, and compared them with the dates of their tickets of leave.

A list of the names, so extracted, was furnished to Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, to enable him to make such remarks and explanations as his memory, or reference to Major Bell, might afford. Upon the return of this list, it appears that very erroneous certificates must have been given by Mr. Humphrey, the police magistrate, respecting two cases in which recent thefts had been committed; and that other offences and misdemeanors must have been equally unnoticed; for amongst those convicts who were recommended by Major Bell, two had been convicted of theft in the space of 12 months previous to the dates of their tickets of leave, and 16 of misdemeanors and other offences. This want of accuracy of reference to former convictions is more conspicuous in certain recommendations of Captain Nairn, of the 46th regiment, (Major Bell's predecessor), and equally so, in some of those recommended by individuals, by the assistant surgeon, as well as those bestowed by the lieutenant-governor himself.

The lieutenant-governor has stated, that in making a rule not to grant a ticket of leave to a convict employed in the government works, except on the recommendation of the inspector, he also leaves that officer a discretion, in determining whether the convicts whom he recommends have, atoned for the offences they had recently committed; and certainly there was no officer, in the whole establishment of New South Wales or Van Dieman's Land, civil or military, with whom this discretion was so justly reposed, or was so little in danger of being abused, as Major Bell.

The principle upon which Lieutenant-governor Sorrell states himself to have been guided, in giving tickets of leave, is that of the conduct of the men in the country; having, in few instances only, any information of their previous history or life; and although he has not found that the magistrates have been inclined to favour the short-sentenced men, yet he has considered that their claims to indulgence increase, as their servitude draws to a close; and this observation he uses in defence of those cases in which tickets of leave had been granted, both by himself and the inspector, after recent conviction for slight offences. He further states, that it would have been impossible for him to have adhered to the same rule that Governor Macquarrie had laid down for himself, in not granting tickets of leave to any convicts, until after the expiration of three years of service in the country; for, on his arrival in Van Dieman's Land in 1817, he found only 400 convicts of very bad character in the whole settlement, and to whom the indulgence of a ticket of leave could not, with any propriety, be extended; and that the price of labour was so high, that few settlers could afford to obtain it. Governor Macquarrie, it appears, had not, at that time, resolved to supply the wants of the settlers in Van Dieman's Land with any portion of the numerous convicts that continued to arrive in New South Wales; and it was, therefore, with a view to reduce the price of labour to the settlers, that Lieutenant-governor Sorrell determined to make a selection of the best men that he could find amongst the newly-arrived convicts, and after trying them in the public works, to give tickets of leave to those who should approve their conduct to the inspector.

Economy of the expense of subsistence to the government, and an equalization of the supply of convict labour to the demands of the settlers, have also had their share in increasing the number of tickets of leave in Van Dieman's Land. This system was so far beneficial to the settlement, that it considerably reduced the price of labour to the settlers in the first instance; but I have learnt that the demands of the men holding tickets of leave had become so exorbitant, that Lieutenant-governor Sorrell thought fit to issue a general notice to the settlers, that in any instance that became known to, a magistrate, or district constable, of excessive demand for wages being made, or of their refusing to accept work at a just and reasonable rate of payment, the ticket of leave man would be brought forward, and would forfeit the indulgence of holding it. This condition was formerly annexed to every one that was issued by Governor king, at a period when labour was more in demand than it has latterly been in Van Dieman's Land.

The number of ticket of leave men that have been convicted and punished at Hobart Town, from the year 1817 to the 30th June 1820, amounts to 135 and 31 tickets of leave were forfeited in that time; by which it would appear that this indulgence has not been attended with the same good effects as at Sydney and New South Wales, and that the previous consideration and estimate of character has been made to yield too much to claims of colonial expediency.

In considering the privileges that have been held to accompany each of these remissions of sentence, it will be more convenient to invert the order in which they have just been mentioned; and first, to describe the nature and effect of a ticket of leave.

It first enables the party to quit the compulsory labour of government, and to apply his labour to his own benefit in any district that he may choose.

In New South Wales, from the generally relaxed state of the police, the residence of men holding tickets of leave has been little watched, and the only restraint upon them has been that which was very partially afforded by the Sunday musters. In Van Dieman's Land, on the contrary, there is no class of persons to whom the attention of the police is so much directed. They cannot pass from one place to another, or from one district to another, without a pass from a magistrate, which is required to be shown to the magistrate, or chief constable of the district, to which the individual is proceeding; and he is there enrolled as an inhabitant of that district, and called upon to attend the Sunday musters.

With a view to obtain the more regular appearance of the ticket of leave men, the district of Hobart Town is, for this purpose, considered to extend to many of the adjoining districts; and the ticket of leave men are made to come, sometimes from an inconvenient distance, to attend the muster, which is held on the first Sunday of the month, and to have their passes renewed.

Some complaints were made to me, of the inconvenience of this regulation, and the risk to which it exposed property by the absence of the owner; but considering the number of these men, and the importance of possessing information of their occupations and residence, I think that the regulation was both necessary and useful.

It has been seen that a man, holding a ticket of leave, is amenable to the demands of government for his services, and to the magistrates for his good behaviour.

Except in the early period of Governor Macquarrie's administration, and when a real demand existed for the services of convicts, for carrying on government works and buildings at Sydney, this resumption of the indulgence has very rarely taken place, on that account. The resumptions in New South Wales, on account of misconduct, have not been numerous; 37 tickets of leave having been withdrawn in the Sydney districts, from the commencement of the year 1817 to the end of the year 1820; 15 in Paramatta, and the neighbouring districts, from the year 1815 to the year 1820; and one at Windsor, in 1819. The effects of the system have thus been proved to afford a beneficial restraint upon the parties upon whom the indulgence has been conferred, and certainly afford some proof of the discretion with which it has been granted. A ticket of leave, therefore, may be considered as an excellent instrument of the reformation of convicts, from the combined effect that it produces in stimulating their industry, and of restraining their misconduct It is regarded by them as a great boon; and it is by wise selection, and careful reference to past conduct in the colony, and not to circumstances of an accidental it nature, that the value of this indulgence can be preserved.

A convict holding a ticket of leave is, and always has been, allowed to bring actions in the civil courts against free persons; and an instance of late date occurred, in which a convict, holding a ticket of leave, recovered the sum of 25l. in damages for an assault and battery committed upon him, by a military officer of the garrison.

Under this protection it is, that the convicts holding tickets of leave become c traders; and that they have improperly, in some instances, been allowed to keep public houses in the names of their wives who happened to be free.

The liberty to bring and defend actions in the courts, that has been given to convicts holding tickets of leave, has been granted by the courts upon a mixed principle of equity and convenience; for, as the convict is allowed by his ticket of leave to appropriate the profits of his industry to his own benefit, and to enter into dealings with others in the exercise of that industry, it is considered only just that he should t be allowed the means of securing what he has earned, as well as of recovering what he has lent.

The effect of a conditional pardon is, to remit the sentence under which the party was convicted and transported to New South Wales, on condition of his remaining within the limits of the territory during the remainder of the term. It has lately been permitted to convicts holding such remissions to remove from New South Wales to Van Dieman's Land; and, to some of them, to embark in ships to New Zealand, on the recommendation of Mr. Marsden, upon security being given for their return. They have also been permitted to engage in the fisheries carried on along the coast; but not to clear out generally on fishing voyages.

The terms of a general pardon have already been stated; and until very lately, it had been generally considered in the colony, that the legal effect both of absolute and conditional pardons, conferred by the governor of New South Wales, was to restore the parties to all the privileges of free subjects. This doctrine, as far as regarded the governor's absolute, pardons, was distinctly recognized by Mr. Justice Field, in a case that came before him, in the supreme court at Sydney, on the 27th August 1818, wherein, after deciding that a lease made by the colonial government to the wife of a convict, vested in the husband, and that no power but that of the crown, could take away from a person who had been attainted of felony, either real or personal estate; he declared, that the King's or the governor's absolute pardon would of course restore him to his competency, unless his conviction had been for perjury under the statute of the 5th Elizabeth, c. 9, and to his blood, as to after-acquired property, or after-born children. It must here be remarked, that these observations of Mr. Justice Field, upon the effect of the King's or governor's pardon, did not exactly apply to the facts of the case before him; but appear to have been made for the purpose of expressing his individual opinion upon a legal question that might very possibly occur, and that he felt to be of general importance to the colony of New South Wales. The report of the case appeared in the Sydney Gazette, and, like all other reports of the proceedings of the supreme court, were furnished to the editor of the gazette, by Mr. Justice Field himself.

This opinion continued to prevail in the colony (and perhaps was the only legal opinion that was ever given upon that subject in it) until the decision of the ease of Bullock v. Dodds, by the court of King's Bench, became known.

This case was determined in Hilary term, and in the 59th year Of his late Majesty's reign; and it was decided, that the attainder of a person who had been trans; ported to New South Wales for life, and whose sentence had been absolutely remitted by the governor of New South Wales, but who name had not been inserted in any general, pardon under the great seal, is pleadable in bar to an action brought by that person subsequent to the remission; and that the utmost effect of an absolute remission of sentence by the governor, such as this had been, in favour of the plaintiff Bullock, was to entitle the party at a future time to have a new and distinct pardon, to operate from that time, without any relation to his original transportation, or to the act of remission; and, in the mean time, to stand as a person with a sign manual pardon. The statute of the 30 Geo. III. c. 47, had already declared, that the governor's absolute and conditional remissions of sentence were to have this effect only; but the second clause of the statute directed, that the governor or lieutenant-governor of New South Wales should, by the first opportunity, transmit to one of His Majesty's principal secretaries of state, a duplicate, under the seal of the government, of every instrument by which the time or term of transportation of any felons, or other offenders, had been remitted or shortened; and that the names of such felons and other offenders, which should be contained in such duplicate, should be inserted in the next general pardon which should pass under the great seal of Great Britain, after the receipt of such duplicate by one of His Majesty's principal secretaries of state.

As this direction has never been literally complied with in New South Wales, no one of the many persons who have received absolute and conditional pardons front the respective governors, stand in any better situation than that of the plaintiff Bullock; and are therefore subject to this, as well as other disabilities, arising from attainder for felony. These disabilities having been fully described by the learned lord chief justice of the court of King's Bench in delivering judgment, I beg leave to submit them, in this place, to your Lordship's consideration:—"An attainted person is considered in law as one civiliter mortuus; he may acquire, but cannot retain; may acquire, not by reason of any capacity in himself, but because if a gift be made to him, the donor cannot make his own act void, and reclaim his own gift: and as the donor cannot do this, and the attainted donee cannot enjoy, the thing given vests in the Crown by its prerogative, there being no other person in whom it can vest."

The same consequences were held to affect personal property; and that even a pardon under the great seal did not, without words of restitution, enable the grantee to sue upon an obligation which had vested in the King by his attainder.

An event of very late occurrence brought the effect of this decision to the general notice of the inhabitants. Various disputes having arisen between Mr. Francis Oakes, the chief constable of Paramatta, and Beale the gaoler of that place, they preferred mutual accusations before a bench of magistrates assembled there on the 1st January 1820, and at which Mr. Justice Field presided. Oakes charged the gaoler, who was a convict, with the imprisonment of three free men for more than one night in the gaol, for the purpose of extorting fees from them; and Beale charged Oakes, with assaulting him in the execution of his duty, and impeding and intimidating the petty constables from apprehending drunken free men, and lodging them in gaol. It further appeared, that Oakes had been guilty of addressing indecorous and disrespectful language to Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, the magistrate of the district, on a preceding day, and a statement of the circumstances attending it, was made by Mr. M‘Arthur, in his place, to the magistrates. In this statement Mr. M‘Arthur detailed the previous conduct of Mr. Oakes, and his refusal to make that apology for his former disrespect, which he had been enjoined to do. He further stated to the bench, that he had received several charges against Beale the gaoler from Mr. Edward Eager (who was then present), and that he was at a loss to know in what character Mr. Eager came forward to prefer such charges against the gaoler, except from a combination with the vindictive feelings of Oakes, under the pretence of redressing injuries, of which the parties themselves did not complain, and for which, if they chose, they had another remedy; and that although he personally wished that the charges that he had received from Mr. Eager, might be investigated, yet he trusted that the magistrates would pause, before they entered into an investigation of the propriety or impropriety of former convictions, or of punishments inflicted by a single magistrate, for the preservation of good order in the town. Mr. M‘Arthur further stated that he had proof of the attempts made, both by Eager and Oakes, to excite the persons who had been punished to come forward and complain.

Upon this statement the magistrates determined that the charges transmitted by Eager to Mr. M‘Arthur should be read; and having examined William Jones, who was one of the persons who was stated to have been unjustly detained in gaol by Beale, for rioting and drunkenness in the streets; and having found by his declaration, that he had never sent for Oakes or Eager to undertake his cause, but that they had sent for him, the magistrates determined that Eager should not be heard.

Mr. Oakes was then called upon to proceed in his charges against the gaoler, but declined undertaking that duty himself, and requested that Mr. Eager, who attended for him, might be heard in his behalf. It is here necessary to state that Mr. Edward Eager was one of those persons that had hem prevented from practising in the courts of New South Wales, by your Lordship's determination, signified to Governor Macquarrie in the year 1817, and that since that period he had acted as deputy provost marshal to Mr. Gore, and had subsequently embarked in trade, and lived in Sydney. He attempted to address the magistrates in support of his charges, but was stopped. Mr. Justice Field then delivered the judgment of the bench, and took occasion to animadvert with great severity of language upon the conduct of Eager. He declared that his interference in the vindication of the pretended injuries of poor and dissolute men, who had been justly punished for their offences, was as illegal as it was uncalled for; that he had incurred the penalties of being a common barrator; and that, by encouraging emancipated convicts to resist the authority of the gaoler in apprehending them, merely because he was a convict clothed with that authority for beneficial purposes, and from the difficulty of finding free persons to execute it, he had made an attempt to raise the standard of sedition, and to excite rebellion in the colony; crimes for which he might be justly committed or trial, for be sent out of the colony by the governor. Eager twice requested to be heard, but was ordered to be silent; and the bench proceeded to investigate the charges preferred by Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, as well as those preferred by the gaoler against Oakes; and the evidence upon the charges having been gone through, and Mr. Oakes having declined to make any defence as Eager was not permitted to be heard; Mr. Justice Field recapitulated the evidence, and in delivering the opinion of the court, again made allusion to the conduct of Eager, declaring that Oakes had betrayed the trust of his office, by lending himself to the vindictive designs of certain criminals, and of a factious party in the colony, and made some personal allusions to the abuse that Eager made of the good talents with which he had been blessed, for the purpose of misleading other men from the line of their duty.

The report of these proceedings was furnished to me by the magistrates clerk, and it is signed by Mr. Justice Field, as chairman; but as I was present myself at the meeting, and as the proceedings had not only attracted much notice, but afterwards became the subject of a very unpleasant discussion in the colony, I have thought it right to submit to your Lordship my own statement of those particulars upon which the subsequent discussion arose.

Eager made no observations in the court upon the judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Field; but at the first sitting of the governor's court, wherein Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde presides, and where actions to the amount of 50l. only can be tried, he filed two plaints against Mr. Justice Field; one for slanderous words uttered and spoken by him upon the occasion to which I have just now alluded, and the other for fees, which Eager alleged to have been illegally demanded and taken by Mr. Justice Field, as judge of the supreme court, of him, as a suitor in that court. To these actions Mr. Justice Field resolved to alledge the attainder of Eager for felony; and, tiling an affidavit of his belief of that filet, stated, that although his sentence had been absolutely remitted by the governor of New South Wales, yet that he verily believed his name had not been included in any general pardon under the great seal; and, as he was aware that nothing but the production of an office copy of the record of the conviction of the plaintiff could be admitted as evidence of that fact, he prayed the court for time to obtain it, for the purpose of pleading his attainder in the two actions. A motion was made to this effect, and a petition to the judge advocate was filed by Mr. Moore, Mr. Justice Field's solicitor; and after Mr. Eager had been heard against the motion, and Mr. Moore in reply, the governor's court determined that leave should be given to Mr. Justice Field to produce an attested copy of the record of Mr. Eager's conviction for felony in Ireland, and that the actions that he had brought should be stayed till the record was produced.

Mr. Eager then addressed a petition to Governor Macquarrie, stating the circumstances of his case; that he had offered to admit the fact of his attainder, and that it had been refused, and that he had been denied justice and right in the governor's court.

Governor Macquarrie declined any interference on this occasion, and the actions were left in the state just described.

In a very short time afterwards, Mr. Eager brought a qui tam action against a foreign merchant, of the name of Le Mestre, residing at Sydney, for the penalties he had incurred by trading in one of His Majesty's colonies, under the statute of 12 Charles II, c. 18, s. 2.

Mr. Eager, as well as a few other merchants of Sydney, had engaged in speculations for the importation of tea from Bengal but not having the means of importing it direct from China, which Mr. Le Mestre possessed through an American interest at Canton, and perceiving an intention on the part of Mr. Le Mestre and two other French merchants to establish themselves in Sydney, and to continue the trade, he determined to bring this action, in which, if he had succeeded, Mr. Le Mestre must have been ruined, and Mr. Eager would have secured the profits of the tea trade. Mr. Le Mestre therefore applied to the supreme court for time to produce the record of the plaintiff's conviction for felony, upon an affidavit, that stated his belief of that fact, and that the action, urn which he had a good defence upon the merits, was brought against him from invidious motives. This application was resisted by Mr. Eager, who was permitted to appear, and to address the court with an argument that he had prepared, and which is to be found in the Appendix. At his request I was present at the hearing of this motion.

In giving the judgment of the court, Mr. Justice Field quoted much at length the judgment given by Mr. Justice Bayley, in the case of Bullock v. Dodd, and the judgment of Lord Chief Justice Abbott, on the second argument in that case, where the effects of attainder are explained; and the application of this state of the lam to the case of Bullock, who, in the memory of most of the persons present, had received Governor Macquarrie's absolute pardon, for the purpose of enabling him to proceed to India on behalf of Mr. Simon Lord, very forcibly impressed itself upon the minds of many of the remitted convicts who attended.

Mr. Justice Field then enlarged upon the precarious nature of the pardons given by the governors of New South Wales, if His Majesty should not be hereafter advised to include their names in a general pardon under the great seal; and considered that a right had been reserved to the King, by the last clause of the Act of the 30 Geo. III, c. 47, of determining whether the conduct of the remitted convicts, subsequent to the remission of their sentences by the governors of New South Wales, had been such as to justify His Majesty's final confirmation of them. He considered that the action brought by Mr. Eager (whom he designated as a convict of ten years standing) against Mr. Le Mestre, was not one that ought to receive any favour front the court; that by the policy hitherto adopted in the colony, the emancipated convicts, who were themselves the creatures of remission and indulgence, had been permitted to carry on trade, and had become wealthy and prosperous, and that it did not become them now to resort to the severe penalties of a law so old as that of the 22 Car. II, c. 18, and a practice of such doubtful policy, as that of excluding foreign merchants from trading in British colonies, with the view of creating a gainful monopoly for themselves.

The learned judge then expressed his doubts whether, under the terms of the charter, the court could entertain an action that was not strictly between party and party; and as he had no reason to believe that Governor Macquarrie had authorized the action on his own behalf, and as it was highly penal in its consequences to the foreign merchants (a description of persons whose conduct had been perfectly inoffensive), he declared it as his opinion that leave should be given to the defendant for twelve months time to plead, to enable him to procure a certified copy of the record and judgment of the plaintiff's conviction of felony, which would be absolutely necessary to sustain the plea of his conviction and attainder. In this opinion the two members of the court concurred; and the rule, for a twelve months time to plead, was made absolute in favour of the defendant Mr. Le Mestre.

This decision, together with the result of the actions commenced by Mr. Eager against Mr. Justice Field, produced some sensation amongst the leading members of the remitted and pardoned convicts, who had never contemplated till then the operation of such disabilities; and Mr. Eager (who had been defeated by them in his attempts to inflict a punishment on Mr. Justice Field for the severity of his rebuke before the magistrates at Paramatta, and in his last attempt to secure to himself the profits of the tea trade) found no difficulty in impressing the minds of the settlers of his own class with the more extensive injuries that these decisions would produce upon the property and rights of all the members of this numerous body, including in it as well those persons whose terms of transportation had been remitted, as those whose terms had expired; industriously and artfully imputing to Mr. Justice Meld a personal motive for the sanction that he had given in his judicial capacity, to a doctrine that had protected him as a suitor.

Mr. Eager was joined by Mr. Redfern, the Rev. Mr. Fulton, Mr. Meehan, Mr. Simon Lord, and the principal superintendent of convicts William Hutchinson, Samuel Terry and several others, styling themselves emancipated colonists, and presented a petition to Governor Macquarrie to be allowed to hold a meeting at Sydney, for the discussion of the grievances under which they were found to labour, and to consider of the best means of obtaining a remedy. The governor consulted me upon the propriety of granting permission to hold this meeting, and as I felt impressed with the hardship of the situation in which the principle of the law, but not the practice, had placed them, I stated to the governor that I saw no objection to the meeting, provided that the persons who were likely to take the lead in it would furnish him previously with a copy of the resolutions that they meant to propose, and that Mr. Eager should pledge himself that no allusion should be made to the conduct of Mr. Justice Field, in taking the benefit of the law in the actions that had been brought against him. The governor having obtained this promise, as well as a copy of the resolutions, I proposed certain alterations in them, which appeared to me to generalize the subject of the proposed discussion, and to prevent their application to the circumstances that had so lately occurred.

Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde and Mr. Justice Field were at this moment tiling their departure for their circuit to Van Dieman's Land, and having observed that Governor Macquarrie's permission had been given to the emancipated convicts to hold their meeting, for the discussion of a subject that might reflect upon the rules they had lately promulgated for the guidance of their judicial conduct, addressed a letter to Governor Macquarrie, in which, after stating that if they had been previously consulted by the governor on the subject, they could have demonstrated to his excellency that none of the civil privileges of the persons styling themselves "emancipated colonists", had been affected by any rules of law that they had laid down; but that now, as they were about to leave the colony for some time they took leave to apprise the governor of their objections to the meeting, not with any view of opposing a measure that he had approved, but to absolve themselves from the responsibility of any consequences that might arise from convening such a meeting when the courts would necessarily be closed.

The judges having done me the honour to transmit to me a copy of this letter before they sent it to the governor, I returned it to them with an answer, in which, after expressing my regret that they had not been previously made acquainted with the governor's intention of permitting the meeting to be held, or of the restrictions that had been imposed upon it, I informed them that I did not concur in the apprehensions they had expressed, of any mischievous consequence to the public peace. Governor Macquarrie replied to the judges letter, and observed, that if he had conceived that the resolutions to be proposed at the meeting, or the meeting itself, could have been interpreted into any mark of disrespect to the judges, he should certainly have consulted them; but, persuaded as he felt of the serious grievance under which the emancipated convicts now laboured, he felt it his duty to sanction their meeting for the purpose of seeking relief from the injurious consequences of the present state of the law. To this letter Mr. Justice Field replied, and the governor again answered; but as Mr. Justice Field has requested me to lay this correspondence before' His Majesty's government, beseeching it likewise to deprive Mr. Edward Eager of the privilege of settling in the colony of New South Wales, I take the liberty of submitting it more particularly to your Lordship's attention.

The meeting of the emancipated convicts, convened by notice and under the authority of the Provost marshal, took place at Sydney on the 23d January 1821. It was numerously attended, and Mr. Redfern being called to the chair, Mr. Eager addressed them at some length, concluding with proposing the resolutions: they were unanimously carried, and were inserted in the Sydney Gazette of 27th January 1821; two others being added for the appointment of an agent to convey the petition to England, and to conduct there all matte: relating to it; and for raising a hind to defray all necessary expenses. A complimentary resolution was then passed, expressive of the gratitude of the emancipated colonists, to Governor Macquarrie, the encouragement and protection it had always afforded them, and of their assurance that his excellency's name would live in the grateful remembrance of nations yet unborn, as the founder and promoter of benevolent principles, and the best interests of the colony and the mother country. The governor was also requested to transmit the petition of the emancipated colonists to his Majesty, in such manner as he might deem proper.

I was informed by Mr. Campbell, the provost marshal, that the meeting was conducted with decorum, and that the promise that had been given to Governor Macquarrie was strictly observed. Since I left the colony I have been informed that meetings of the emancipated colonists continued to be held, by the permission of Governor Macquarrie, at the house of Mr. Eager, in Sydney, for the purpose of promoting the objects of the petition; and that subscriptions have been raised amongst the class of emancipated convicts, to enable Mr. Eager and Mr. Redfern to proceed to England as their agents.

These persons were well aware, that in reporting to your Lordship upon the state of the convicts in New South Wales, the hardships of their situation would not be forgotten by me; but as the part that I had taken on the appointment of Mr. Redfern to the magistracy was well known, and some pains had been taken to impress the minds of the persons of Mr. Redfern's class, that I entertained strong prejudices against them, no communication of their intentions or wishes was made to me, and I had no other knowledge of them except that which I collected front private channels, or from an inquiry of Mr. Eager himself.

I have learnt, that upon another occasion that has occurred since my departure, an action of the same nature as that which he brought against Mr. Le Mestre, was brought against Mr. Manigault, a French merchant, and that it was defeated by the same means.

A report of this trial was published in the Sydney Gazette of May 26th, 1821, and I have no reason to doubt that it was inserted by the authority of Mr. Justice Field.

The purport of the judgment is precisely the same as in the preceding action; but the learned judge now stated, that "before the court entertained so highly penal an action as this, and applied this statute in favour of tradesmen who were themselves only the creatures of remission of sentence, they ought to be fully satisfied that they had the power to try a qui tam action, a public penal action, two-thirds of the fruits of which are to go to the King and the governor, under a charter, the object of which is, to make sufficient provision for the recovery of debts, and determining of private causes between party and party in New South Wales. The court doubted this in the case of Eager v. Le Mestre, and it was for that reason, they granted the defendant time to procure from Ireland, a copy of the record of the plaintiff's conviction of felony, and not with a view of applying to this colony the strict law of England, upon the right of convicts to sue, as had been misrepresented in one of a string of false and absurd resolutions in the Gazette, at the head of which Mr. Justice Field saw the plaintiff's name. The judge said, that if he had been in this part of the territory at the time those resolutions had appeared, he would have punished their author for a contempt of court, in making this The fact was, that except in such an oppressive case as this, and in which the powers of the charter were doubtful, no convict had ever been prevented from suing in the courts of the colony, nor ever should be, while Mr. Justice Field had the honour of sitting there; and it appeared by the returns of the court to the Commissioner of Inquiry, that one-third of the plaintiffs in the supreme court had been convicts."

Mr. Justice Field, since my arrival in England, has forwarded to me, through the office of your Lordship, certain extracts from judgments given by him, upon the power of the crown to take away property forfeited by attainder for felony, or for non-performance of conditions; and it would appear that they were reprinted at Sydney, for the purpose of correcting a misrepresentation that had gone abroad in the colony, respecting their effect and import. In these extracts, I find one of the cases that respecting already had the honour of submitting to your Lordship, (Doe on the demise of Pearce against Jenkins) in which the learned judge declared, that a government lease to the wife of a convict, transported to New South Wales, vested in the husband. I also find, that the observation made by the learned judge, in his first report of the same case in the year 1818, as to the effect of the governor's pardon, is omitted; and that it is now limited to the King's absolute pardon. Without commenting upon the learned judge's motives for making this omission, I would beg leave to observe, that it would have been more prudent in him to have abstained from the application of such epithets as "false" and "absurd" to the resolutions of the emancipated convicts, until he had been able, upon cooler reflection, to have taken a more accurate view of the grievances of which they complained.

The nature and effect of the governor's pardons, or remissions of sentence, had, until the year 1820, been considered, by all those who held them, as effectual in restoring all privileges of whatsoever kind that they had lost by conviction; but when they suddenly learnt, that by the state in which these pardons had been suffered to lie, they were liable, even in England, to be impeded in the recovery of their rights by judicial process, if their opponents chose to take advantage of such a defect; and that in New South Wales the courts would exercise a discretion in permitting or not permitting that defect to bar the recovery of them; they then felt that their appearance in a court of law was no longer an exercise of a right to which they had been restored, but an effect of judicial grace.

Having been absent, in Van Dieman's Land, when the first action was brought against Mr. Justice Field by Mr. Eager, for slander, and for demanding illegal fees, I had not an opportunity of communicating with him, upon the subject of his application to the governor's court for time to plead the conviction and attainder of Mr. Eager. He did me the honour to write to me privately, to know my sentiments upon the subject; and I took as early an opportunity as my distance from New South Wales at the time afforded, of expressing to him my conviction of the inexpediency of such a measure on general grounds, and of the disapprobation with which His Majesty's Government would view any counteraction of that system of participation of civil rights and advantages, which they had thought fit to introduce into the colony in favour of emancipated convicts, and which had further obtained the approbation of a Committee of the British Parliament.

My letter did not reach Mr. Justice Field until after he had made his application to the governor's court, or I think it likely, from the respectful deference that he has on all occasions shown to my opinions upon colonial subjects, that he would have been induced to have met Mr. Eager's actions upon their merits, and not put a negative upon them by pleading his disabilities.

It was not sufficient for Mr. Justice Field to state, in his vindication of this new principle, that its application had been rare in the colony; that he had himself allowed emancipated convicts to recover in one-third of the actions brought before him; that he had declared that the personal property of the wife of a convict vested in him after attainder; and that the eases in which the principle had been applied were such only as merited, such application, either in checking the malicious revenge or the grasping ambition of an emancipated convict, and that they never would be applied but in such cases: this class of persons could not feel satisfied with such a state of things.

They have magnified in their resolutions, as your Lordship will hereafter see, their relative importance in the colony, as well as the extent of the grievance under which they found themselves to labour; but they felt that they had just reason to ask relief from disabilities, as new as they were alarming, and which, though applied for the first time only in the case of Mr. Eager, might be made equally applicable to the whole class. It having been declared from high authority in England, that a member of this class, that had been absolutely pardoned by Governor Macquarrie, had no property in a bill of exchange, and could not sue upon it there, on account of the same defect in his remission of sentence that was known to vitiate all theirs, it was very natural that the emancipated convicts of New South Wales should seek for relief against a consequence that might operate against themselves, and against the extent and hardship of which they saw no effectual or certain guarantee: they saw that the power exercised by the courts in New South Wales was in its nature discretionary, and applied to the circumstances of each particular case, as the court might choose to regard them, upon the affidavits of one of the parties; and although they had reason to acknowledge that this discretion had never been exercised to the injury of the colony, yet they naturally dreaded a state of things which left their property, both real and personal, at the mercy of a discretionary power, in whomsoever that power might be vested.

As the number and description of persons, whom this declaration of the law thus affected, appeared to be misunderstood, it may tend to simplify the nature of any future regulations, if I take this opportunity of stating what I conceive to be the legal effect of the punishment of transportation upon the several classes of offenders.

The legislature, in passing the statute of the 4 Geo. I. c. 11, adopted the policy that had been introduced in the earlier times of Charles the Second, in transporting felons to the colonies, and making their punishment there subservient to the purposes of colonization; and the same statute also defined the classes of offenders for whom this new punishment seemed to be particularly intended. The first class consisted of persons, who having been convicted of felony without benefit of clergy, were liable to be whipped or burned in the hand, or had been ordered to any workhouse; secondly, of persons who should be thereafter convicted of grand or petit larceny, or any other felonious stealing, and who should by the law be entitled to the benefit of clergy; thirdly, of offenders, who having been capitally convicted, had received the King's pardon on condition of transportation for a certain term, and had complied therewith; fourthly, of persons convicted of receiving or buying stolen goods, knowing them to be stolen. After reciting these several classes of offenders, the statute declared, that where any of them should be transported, and should have served their respective terms, such services should have the effect of a pardon, to all intents and purposes, as for the crime or crimes for which they were transported and shall have served. The statute of 8 Geo. III. c. 15, contains a similar provision in favour of persons convicted of capital offences, whose sentences have been first respited and afterwards commuted under a general or special condition of transportation, and who have been transported and served their respective terms according to the tenor of those conditions; to offenders, therefore, who come within any of the descriptions above-mentioned, the punishment of transportation, when completed by service, affords the advantages of the highest pardon that is known to the law; viz. a statutable pardon.

It would appear, however, that some doubt had been entertained by the legislature, whether this effect extended to cases of petty larceny; for it was considered necessary, for the purpose of restoring persons convicted of that crime to their competency as witnesses, to pass the statute of 3 Geo. III. 3, c. 35, and to place them in that respect on the same footing on which persons convicted of grand larceny stood.

With regard to these, however, and to the other classes of offenders named in the acts of 4 Geo. c. 11, and 8 Geo. III, c. 15, it is understood that transportation being the specific punishment ordained by the legislature, as a substitute for the former one of burning in the hand and whipping, which was itself substituted for the system of purgation before the ordinary, all the effects that these punishments were held to possess in removing disabilities, are now attributed to that of transportation.

In the periods that have elapsed since the passing of this act of 4 Geo. I, c. 11, many statutes have been passed, by which the punishment of transportation is specifically appointed and enacted for offences that were not known to the common law of England, and are not within the provisions of this statute; and as the punishment of those offences is not followed by the same remedial effects that have been declared to belong to those that are, there will be found many persons in New South Wales who are liable to certain disabilities produced by a conviction for felony, from which other and greater offenders are by operation of law, as well as by the before mentioned statute, exempt. If this view of the subject be correct, there will thus appear to be a difference in the degrees, or rather in the effect of transportation as a punishment, that does not seem to have been intended by the legislature. The leading principle that this species of punishment seems to inculcate is, that of proportioning, in the first instance, the terms of transportation to the nature and extent of the crime, and of making their duration to depend upon the effect that they had produced upon the morals and conduct of each criminal.

The power of limiting the terms of punishment was conferred upon the governors of New South Wales by the statute of 30 Geo. III, c. 47, and to them was also impliedly given the power of determining at what period a criminal had become a proper object of remission, and what conditions should be annexed to it. The service of the terms of transportation was declared, in certain cases, to have the effect of removing all the consequences of the punishment; while those, whose terms of service or sentences were remitted, were to stand in the situation of persons holding a pardon under the King's sign manual. The condition of persons attainted for felony and holding a pardon of this nature, has been already submitted to your Lordship's consideration; and I will now only add a few observations upon its effects upon their property, until it be confirmed by a pardon under the great seal.

These effects upon the possession and transmission of real property, were, as I have already had occasion to observe, both mistaken and magnified by the emancipated convicts, in the resolutions that were passed at their meeting. By the statute that passed in the 54th of his late Majesty's reign, c. 145, corruption of blood, and forfeiture of real property, were taken away in all, cases except those of treason or murder; and although by the state of the law, as to convicts whose sentences have been pardoned and remitted by the governors of New South Wales, and as explained by the learned chief justice of the court of King's Bench, in the case of Bullock v. Dodds, an attainted person may acquire property, but cannot retain it, yet the title to that property is good against every person, except the crown, where it vests, by reason of its prerogative; and the utmost that the crown can now do, would be, to take the profits of the real and personal property, during the offender's life. It is upon this principle, that Mr. Justice Field held, that as long as the crown left a convict's property untouched, he should consider him to be entitled to dominion over it, and that he should leave the crown to set aside any disposition of it, that might deprive the King of his rights. It appears, therefore, that that portion of property only, that is hell or has been transmitted by emancipated convicts, guilty of treason or murder; and of persons attainted for felony, Prior to the passing of the statute in the 54th of his late Majesty's reign,(27th July 1814) is liable to the forfeiture created by attainder, and is not inheritable by their children. The property of attainted convicts, acquired by them since that period, remains subject to the claim of the crown for profits during their life-time, but has been, and is now, descendable to their children.

Your Lordship will observe that this defect of title arises solely from the claim and prerogative of the crown, and that therefore the titles of persons in the situations just described, or of those who have purchased from them, are not impeachable on other grounds. It may be questionable even whether, as to grants of land made to attainted convicts by its own authority or by its own servants, the crown even can reclaim its own gifts, where there is no breach of any condition annexed to them; but as all the consequences arising from attainder, as affecting the property of convicts acquired by them, both previous to the 27th July 1814 and subsequent to it, may be removed by a pardon under the great seal, having special relation to rights acquired and transmitted in the interval, no legislative authority will be necessary for effecting that purpose.

With reference, however, to the future condition of emancipated convicts, it is material to consider whether the disqualifications that are now found to belong to attainted persons, upon whom pardons under the sign manual have been bestowed, are such as were contemplated by the terms of the statutes that authorized them, or are consistent with the condition in which it is expedient that an emancipated convict should be placed, for the purpose of fully enjoying the benefits of a state of freedom.

The acts of the 4 Geo. I, c. 11, made provision only for the service of convicts transported to the plantations of North America, as well as for the prevention of their return to England before the expiration of their terms of service, but did not look to their subsequent condition in the colonies or the possibility of their acquiring property them. The act of the 30 Geo. III, c. 47, expressly recites that it would tend greatly to advance the design of sentences of transportation, if the governors or lieutenant-governors for the time being had a power of remitting or shortening the time or term for which felons may have been transported, in cases where it should appear that such felons were proper objects of the royal mercy. A power is there given to the King to authorize the governors or lieutenant-governors to remit absolutely or conditionally the whole or any part of the time or terms of the sentences of felons, and that such instruments of remission should have the like force and effect as if his Majesty had signified his royal intention of mercy under the sign manual. A pardon under the sign manual has been stated by a great legal authority to imply only a preparation for pardon, and if that construction be applied to the situation of convicts whose sentences are remitted by the governors or lieutenant-governors of New South Wales, it would seem that the interval that must necessarily elapse between the period in which it is bestowed by them, and that in which it is confirmed by the crown, must form an intermediate state of civil existence that is certainly not consistent with a state of freedom; and, when its peculiarities are known, not very productive of contentment to the person placed in it, or of the benefit which the statute contemplated. Although, therefore, the words of the statute of the 30 Geo. III. c. 47, are only directory, and point out the manner in which effect is to be given to the acts of remission of the governors and lieutenant-governors of New South Wales; and although there may have been an intention of reserving an exercise of the royal discretion upon them, yet there could have been none of suspending the benefits intended to be conferred on convicts who received the governor's pardon and continued to reside in the colony.

By the instructions that have been furnished to the several governors of New South Wales, they were directed to give grants of land to convicts after remission or expiration of their terms, and they thenceforth have been permitted to assume the condition of proprietors of land and cultivators, under the influence of these regulations. The convicts in New South Wales, whose terms of sentence have been remitted, have become numerous, and a few have become opulent, especially those who have established themselves as traders and public-house keepers in the towns.

By the last muster taken by the magistrates of New South Wales, in the month of October 1820, and by the muster taken in Van Dieman's Land, there were 3,617 male and female convicts whose terms of sentence had expired; 182 whose sentences had been absolutely, and 1,170 whose sentences had been conditionally, remitted; making a total number of 1,352 remitted convicts, out of a population that amounted to 29,407 souls.

As I felt it to be a matter of importance to ascertain the quantity of land held by this description of persons in New South Wales; and as the form in which Governor Macquarrie determined that the muster of 1820 should be taken by the magistrates, did not afford the means of ascertaining this point, I requested the magistrates, in a circular letter that I addressed to them previous to the muster, to take an account of the quantity of land held by persons in each district, whose sentences had either expired or had been remitted. These returns were transmitted to me; and I find that out of 389,288 acres of land, granted and held in New South Wales, 22,238 acres were either granted to or held by the class of remitted convicts; and 48,906 by convicts whose sentences have expired.

They constitute the middle and lower order of settlers in the colony, and having in general begun with very limited means, they have been obliged to depend solely upon the return of the produce of their land. It is through their means, therefore, that the greatest quantity of grain has been produced for the consumption of the colony; and it is also through their want of means, and their want of capital and skill, that the productive powers of the soil, that is not generally a fertile one, have been exhausted by repeated cropping. Many of the original grantees are now either reduced to a state of dependence upon their creditors, or are seeking for opportunities of redeeming themselves, by removal to some new and more productive tracts. There are, however, exceptions to these cases, and they consist of the emancipated convicts, who, during servitude, were enabled to accumulate property, and acquired a knowledge of agricultural occupations, and who obtained grants of some portion of the rich lands in the valley and plain, that are fertilized by the inundations of the rivers Nepean and Hawkesbury.

In these tracts, I observed some decent habitations that had been established by emancipated convicts; but there were also a great many, that were within reach of the inundations of the river, the owners of which persisted in exposing themselves and their property to its ravages, that they might indolently reap the benefits of the fertility that it left behind. The tracts on the shores of the river Hawkesbury have thus afforded support to many of the most worthless and indolent cultivators, and the produce has been diminished in quantity, as well as quality, by the successive cultivation of the same grain and by the admixture with it of rank weeds and wild vetches. Another fertile district, that of Airds, has been occupied principally by small settlers or the class Of emancipated convicts, who are proceeding in the same course of rapid exhaustion of their lands, without regard to their future means of support.

The return made from this district is not so full or satisfactory as it ought to have been; Mr. Redfern having declined to make any return to the magistrates of Liverpool, to whom I addressed my circular letter, and having wilfully misinterpreted the consideration for his feelings, that had dictated that mode of communication, into a studied neglect of his authority as a magistrate. Mr. Redfern, at the date of my letter, continued to fill the office of magistrate; and I conceived that it might be painful to him to record his own name and circumstances amongst the emancipated convicts of his district, more especially as I understood that at the annual musters taken by the governor, the same consideration had been shown to Mr. Redfern, Mr. Lord, and others of that class. The number of acres, therefore, held by Mr. Redfern under grant and lease, and amounting to 2,620, is not inserted in the return of the Airds district. This farm, and two others in the same district, belonging to remitted convicts, form exceptions to the general observations that have been made respecting their system of cultivation. The farm of Mr. Redfern, though not consisting of good land, has begun to exhibit the improved system of English husbandry, and reflects credit upon the intelligence and spirit with which the expensive operation of clearing the land from trees has been conducted.

It is necessary to offer to your Lordship a few remarks upon the return of land held by persons that had been convicts, and made in the Sydney district, first observing that the name of Mr. Simon Lord, who returned in the general muster an amount of 4,363 acres, as held by him in the year 1820, was not inserted as it ought to have been, in the return that I requested of the lands belonging to persons of his class. Amongst the names of persons who are free by servitude in the Sydney district, is that of Samuel Terry, holding 19,000 acres of land, of which 17,000 were obtained by purchase, and 2,000 by grant from Governor Macquarrie. The name of Charles Thompson, holding 1,300 acres obtained by purchase; of Thomas Clarkson, holding 2,150 acres, of which 2,000 are obtained by purchase; Roberts, holding 700 acres by grant; Thomas Rose, holding 930 acres; Daniel Cooper, holding 400 acres; Solomon Levy, holding 1,000 acres by purchase; and Robert Waples, 200 by the same title, though only in possession of a ticket of leave.

The first of these individuals. Samuel Terry, was transported to the colony when young. He was placed in a gang of stone-masons at Paramatta, and assisted in the building of the gaol. Mr. Marsden states, that during this period he was brought before him for neglect of duty, and punished; but by his industry in other ways, he was enabled to set up a small retail shop, in which he continued till the expiration of his term of service. He then repaired to Sydney, where he extended his business, and by marriage increased his capital. He for many years kept a public house and retail shop, to which the smaller settlers resorted from the country, and where, after intoxicating themselves with spirits, they signed obligations and powers of attorney to confess judgment, which were always kept ready for execution. By these means, and by an active use of the common arts of overreaching, ignorant and worthless men, Samuel Terry has been able to accumulate a considerable capital, and a quantity of land in New South Wales, inferior only to that which is held by Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth. He ceased at the late regulations, introduced by the magistrates at Sydney in February 1820, to sell spirituous liquors, and he is now become one of the principal speculators in the purchase of investments at Sydney, and lately established a water-mill in the swampy plains between that town and Botany Bay, which did not succeed. Out of the 19,000 acres of land held by Samuel Terry, 140 only are stated to be cleared; but he possesses 1,450 head of horned cattle, and 3,800 sheep.

The return of Mr. Lord having been omitted, it is necessary to add, that he is possessed, either by purchase or grant, of 4,365 acres of land, of which 200 are cleared. He has not devoted much of his attention to agriculture, having, with great industry and success, established manufactories of cloth and hats, that have been very beneficial to the colony. In this point of view Mr. Lord's exertions have certainly been creditable, and deserve praise.

The other persons whose names are mentioned, consist (with the exception of Solomon Levy) of licensed publicans in Sydney, who, by the great profits attending that trade, or by availing themselves of the same advantages as Samuel Terry, of concluding profitable bargains with their customers, have been able to realize property in land. These persons, however, as well as those of the same description in the other towns of New South Wales (and of which there are many) are not resident cultivators of the soil. They receive the produce of the inferior settlers at a low rate in exchange for their goods, and watch opportunities of obtaining admission for it into the King's stores, where they receive the regulated price that is there given for it.

Pressed by their necessities, as well as by their love of excessive indulgence, and unable, from the want of proper buildings, to secure their produce when gathered, these thoughtless persons hasten to Sydney at the first opening of the King's store, and if unable to obtain immediate admission for their grain, or baffled in their expectations by the confusion and want of regulation that prevails there, they sell it to the publicans, who are the only persons in the colony that posses the means of storing grain. They then buy dearly a few articles of the first necessity, which, with a supply of spirituous liquors, are soon consumed, and leave them in poverty and wretchedness, until the return of the next harvest brings with it a diminished return of produce, but affords a repetition of the same improvident indulgence.

The returns from the districts of Evan, Castlereagh, Windsor and Wilberforce, show, that as many as 240 of the remitted convicts in these districts are only tenants under other proprietors. This mode of tenure is either a consequence of the system already described, by virtue of which the impoverished owner of a grant of 50 acres of land, becomes at length the tenant of an avaricious landlord, who is his creditor; or it is the consequence of a system, by which the owners of the larger For find it convenient to get their land cleared free of expense to themselves. For this purpose, they let small portions of it upon what are called clearing leases for five or seven years, to convicts who have been in their service, or who upon their recommendation, have received remissions of sentence. The tenant clears as much land as his means will allow during the term, and subsists upon the produce, or occasionally works for hire to the landlord. From the mode of cultivation that is pursued by these tenants (and they cannot afford to make it better) the land is returned into the hands of the landlord in an exhausted state at the end of the term; and it is generally found, that this description of settlers, when placed at a distance from the towns, and not having the opportunities or means that their neighbourhood affords, of a ready market, gradually decline in circumstances, and then resort to the plunder of their neighbours for their support.

In the neighbourhood of Paramatta, the most favourable instances that have occurred of the effect of transportation, are exhibited in the persons, as well as the properties, of three men who were transported in the early periods of the colony; their names are George Best, John Pie, and William Mobbs: they have been distinguished for the propriety of their conduct in the colony; for their respectable characters; and for their unremitting industry: and the state of their farms and habitations attest, in a conspicuous manner, the united effects of good conduct in New South Wales, and of industry, when well applied.

The result of my inquiries, respecting the number of such instances of reform amongst the class of settlers to which these persons belong, was not satisfactory.

With a view to obtain information upon this subject, I addressed myself to the Rev. Mr. Cartwright and the Rev. Mr. Cowper, for the returns of those districts with which they had been particularly acquainted; to the magistrates of the other districts, in which a chaplain had not been constantly resident; and to Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur at Paramatta, in consequence of the absence of the Rev. Mr. Marsden. The information returned by the Rev. Mr. Cartwright, respecting the characters of the emancipated convicts of those districts in which he resided so long, is entitled to the greatest weight, as well on account of the character of the reverend gentleman himself, as from the opportunities that he had of observing those of the resident settlers, both in the performance of his clerical and magisterial duties.

Out of this class of the population in the districts of Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce, Portland Head and Pitt Town, amounting to 149 persons, settled on their own property, and generally married, he has returned the names of 83 persons, whom he considered to be industrious and well disposed, living upon their property and educating their children.

In the town of Sydney where the Rev. Mr. Cowper has resided, and where he has always paid the most unremitting attention to his clerical duties, and from his extensive charitable occupations has had frequent intercourse with the families of the inhabitants, and many opportunities of being acquainted with their characters, he has made the following observation: "With regard to character and respectability, allow me to observe, briefly, that while some are, in general, well conducted persons, concerning many, little that is praiseworthy can be advanced: though on their property resident, they are poor and immoral; there is not much religion amongst the best, and the far greater part have not the appearance of it."

In the evidence of both these gentlemen is to be found, the general opinion entertained by them of the conduct of the emancipated convicts.

The Rev. Mr. Cartwright conceives that the instances of moral conduct, arising mesa from an improved moral sense, are very few.

The Rev. Mr. Cowper believes, that although there are instances of temporary reform, yet that there are very few in whom he could say, that there was an entire change of principle. In proof of this last remark, I would observe, that two emancipated convicts who had lived, at Richmond for some time, and had enjoyed good characters in the estimation of the magistrates, as well as in that of Mr. Cartwright, and would have been included as such in his return, were tried and executed at Sydney in the year 1820, for cattle stealing, in which they were found to have been for a long time extensively engaged. From the remaining districts of New South Wales, 147 names of emancipated convicts have been returned to me, as those of persons living respectably on their own property; but I cannot place as much confidence in them, as in those from the Windsor district, to which I have just referred. It would thus appear, that out of 4,376 remitted convicts, including those whose terms have expired, and who are now resident in New South Wales, 296 may be considered as respectable in conduct and character; and considering one-half of those at Sydney in the same light, (but subject to the observations made upon them by the Rev. Mr. Cowper) this number will be increased to 369.

In Van Dieman's Land, the moral character and the general condition of the emancipated convicts appeared to me to be still lower than what it fairly may be taken to be in New South Wales. The circumstances that I have already detailed, respecting those settlements, will account for much of this result; and I now will add one other cause, which is to be found in the inferior character of the class of free persons in that settlement, compared with those in New South Wales. Two conspicuous exceptions, however, to this general estimate of the character of the emancipated convicts, exist in Van Dieman's Land, in the persons of Mr. G. Gatehouse, and Mr. Wade, formerly the chief constable at Hobart Town. Both of these individuals have recommended themselves by their good conduct; and one of them, Mr. G. Gatehouse, was for some time a partner in a mercantile-house at Hobart Town, conducted by Mr. Anthony Fenn Kemp, formerly a captain in the 102d regiment.

After retiring from this connection, he has devoted his attention to one of the most useful undertakings that has yet been commenced in the colony, that of establishing a brewery.

This object recommended itself to my attention on so many grounds, that I ventured to request of Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, on behalf of Mr. Gatehouse, every facility in the assistance of workmen that it was in his power to afford; a request pi that was very cordially met by the lieutenant-governor.

Mr. Wade was in possession of a well cultivated farm and decent habitation at Pittwater; and was as remarkable for his vigorous pursuit of the bush-rangers, when he was chief constable, as for the severe losses he sustained from them.

These circumstances will enable your Lordship to form a judgment of the actual condition of this class of the inhabitants of New South Wales; and to determine upon the expediency of doing that, which in other circumstances, would be only an act of justice, namely, of removing the legal disabilities, under which they yet may be found to labour, either as arising from the operation of law, or from the imperfect execution of it.

I believe it to be the opinion of of the persons in New South Wales, who have been conversant with the management of convicts, that the hope of possessing property, and of improving their condition, and that of their families, affords the strongest stimulus to their industry, and the best security for their good conduct. Many of these persons think that the preparatory periods of labour, and the hardships and privations that belong to it, and that constitute a state of punishment and one of trial, should be much longer than Governor Macquarrie has made them; they also think, with justice, that the emancipations that he has given to opulent convicts, for services purely of a personal nature, without reference to the past, and only as an encouragement for their future conduct, have both lowered the value of reward, and abridged the period that ought to precede it; but I was not able to discover any argument or statement, upon which (after the policy had been so long acted upon, of giving property, in the nature of grants, to persons whose free agency was in most other respects admitted) the expediency, or the justice, could be made appea r, of withholding any longer from the same persons, those rights that are essential to the free enjoyment, the exchange, or the transmission of property, as long as they remain in the territory of New South Wales.

In the intercourse that has hitherto subsisted, between the free classes of the inhabitants and the emancipated convicts, a defect of title, either to convey land, or to maintain personal actions, has, until the events before mentioned, never occurred. Lands have been purchased of them by free people, and they have bought and sold lands from and to each other with a confidence in the goodness of their titles, that has been quite reciprocal. Although, therefore, I shall be prepared to state to your Lordship certain limitations for the future acquirement and disposal of land in the colony, by emancipated convicts, yet I am at a loss how to make any other exceptions now to the completion of their rights as to the property they have acquired, and that they now possess; or to their right of maintaining personal actions in the colonial courts, than that which should follow, from the conviction of them, or any of them, in the colony for felony, subsequent to the periods of their emancipation.

I have reason to believe that these cases are not numerous; but as an accurate investigation of them required more time, and a more tedious reference than I am enabled to bestow, or to make, it will be necessary, in ease your Lordship should approve of this exception, to require an accurate statement to be made to you, of the condition and property of all the emancipated convicts that have been convicted in the criminal courts in New South Wales, subsequent to the period of their emancipation.

Although there are unquestionably, amongst the emancipated convicts, a great many that have been suspected of committing crimes since they received their emancipations, and whose reform is still more problematical; yet such were the varieties of opinion that I found upon this subject, either arising from prejudice and personal feeling, or from the general opinion entertained by the free classes of the indelible nature Old effects of conviction, in those who have once suffered it, that I cannot venture to make any such report to your Lordship of those suspicions, as might furnish grounds for a positive act of disqualification.

Such, until the occurrence of the events that I have now detailed, were the presumed effects of the several pardons and conditions of the emancipated convicts in New South Wales. I will now shortly state the admission to society that has been given to a certain number of them.

Until the assumption of in January 1810, by Governor Macquarrie, the emancipated convicts (amongst whom, for the sake of convenience, I include also those whose terms had expired) had, with two exceptions, been excluded from general society. Those two persons, consisting of Lieutenant Bellasis, and the Rev. Mr. Fulton, were admitted to the society of Governors King and Bligh. The situation and circumstances of one of them has been already mentioned, and the other, Lieutenant Bellasis, was an officer of the East India Company's service, who had been transported from India for fighting a duel, in which his opponent was killed. He was also appointed aide-de-camp to Governor King, and acting engineer.

With these exceptions, I have been repeatedly informed, that the exclusion of convicts from the society of the free classes, had been uniformly adhered to by the governors of the colony; and that the civil and military officers were in the habit of exacting from the emancipated convicts, the same species of respect as they had yielded in their former state of servitude.

Whether Major-general Foveaux, in recommending several of the emancipated convicts to the notice of Governor Macquarrie on his arrival, had explained the view that he took of the policy of admitting into society those whose conduct had merited that distinction, or had recommended it to the adoption of Governor Macquarrie, I cannot with any certainty determine; if it were so, the recommendation would appear to have been at variance with his own practice and principles, as manifested in his former conduct towards them, as well as in the restrictions that he laid upon those, who had practised as solicitors in the courts of the colony, during the period in which he took an active part in its administration. The terms of the order in which their exclusion was pronounced are so strong, and they are so entirely opposite to the principles by which Governor Macquarrie afterwards professed to be guided, in the controversy that took place upon the subject between himself and Mr. Justice Bent, that I think it right to quote them at length. The order was published in the Sydney Gazette of 28th August 1808, and is to the following effect:

"Lieutenant-governor Foveaux has learned, with equal indignation and surprise, that men who have been prisoners in the colony have so far forgotten their former condition, as to obtrude themselves into the courts of justice, in the character of counsellors and advocates. Determined to prevent the continuance of a practice, as injurious to decency as it is in fact destructive of justice, Lieutenant-governor Foveaux feels it incumbent upon him to forbid any person from presuming to interfere with causes pending before the courts, without an especial license from him for that purpose; and to apprise those who have been convicts, that a disobedience of this injunction will be punished in the most exemplary manner."

The individuals alluded to in the order, were George Crossley and Michael Robinson.

Soon after the arrival of Governor Macquarrie, and the appointment of Mr. Thomson and Mr. Simon Lord to the magistracy, their introduction to the society of government house took place. They were also invited to the regimental mess of the 73d regiment.

The introduction of Mr. Redfern took place at the same period, and was followed by the same consequences. The circumstances of this person's situation have been already adverted to; and the only remaining persons upon whom the same distinction has been conferred, consisted of James Meehan, Richard Fitzgerald, Michael Robinson, and Francis Howard Greenway. The first of these persons was transported in the year 1800, for an offence committed during the rebellion in Ireland, and that was not of a serious nature. He was, on his arrival, assigned as servant to Mr. Grimes, the surveyor-general of the colony, and continued, after the departure of that gentleman, to fill his situation till his return in the year 1806. After that period he assisted Mr. Grimes in the business of the department, always taking a most active and laborious part in it; and upon the resignation of Mr. Grimes, Mr. Meehan was appointed acting surveyor-general by Governor Macquarrie, and continued to act ill that situation until Mr. Oxley, who now tills it by the appointment of your Lordship's predecessor in office, arrived in 1815 to supersede him. At that period Governor Macquarrie bestowed upon Mr. Meehan a new situation, of inspector of roads and bridges, and collector of quit rents, with a salary of 136l. 17s. 6d. payable from the police fund, equal to that which he receives under the parliamentary grant, and equal to that of the principal in the office, Mr. Oxley.

In the performance of his duties as deputy surveyor-general, Mr. Meehan has been active and intelligent; and is justly esteemed skilful in those of a subordinate and practical nature. He has not however the advantage of any scientific acquirements, and is more to be intrusted in the operations of practical mensuration, than in those of delineation or general surveying.

In the performance of the duty of inspector of roads and bridges, or rather in the non-performance of them, I shall have to submit some remarks to your Lordship, respecting Mr. Meehan, which I will not now anticipate. I will at present observe, that I did not become acquainted with any instance of corruption in this officer, although no one has enjoyed larger opportunities of profiting by it than he has done. Mr. Meehan has, during the whole period of Governor Macquarrie's administration, been much trusted by him; has enjoyed the most frequent access to his society on all occasions; and has been much more referred to and consulted, in the distribution of land, than Mr. Oxley.

Michael Robinson (the circumstances of whose case, and conviction for writing a threatening letter, have acquired for him some celebrity) was transported to the colony for life in the year 1798. He was permitted to practise in the courts as an attorney; but having incurred the displeasure of Governor King when sitting in the court of appeal, he was sent to reside in Norfolk Island. On returning to Sydney, he again practised in the courts, and was one of those persons who were recommended to Governor Macquarrie on his arrival, both for his local knowledge and his intelligence in business. He was then appointed chief clerk in the office of the governor's secretary, and received his free pardon in the year 1811. He continued in the same office until the year 1820, and was then appointed to that of deputy provost marshal. During the same periods Michael Robinson has been employed by Governor Macquarrie in copying his dispatches to your Lordship, in consequence of the various and more important avocations of Mr. Secretary Campbell, in resorting to and extracting the original documents in his office, and preparing copies of them for transmission. The official and even confidential situation to which Michael Robinson was thus admitted, together with his good conduct, appeared to Governor Macquarrie to give him a claim, to admission to the society of government house, on public occasions, when he has been permitted to recite to the company assembled there, on the celebration of the birth days of their late Majesties, certain odes of his own composition, complimentary to the occasions, but eminently praising the virtue of clemency that had so much distinguished their late Majesties' reign, and that had led to the establishment of New South Wales as a colony, and had made it an asylum for unhappy convicts. These odes of Michael Robinson have always concluded with a pointed compliment to the clemency and virtuous example of Governor Macquarrie.

In one instance only did the conduct of this individual, who it must be observed has for several years filled a highly responsible situation under Mr. Secretary Campbell, come under my notice. An original letter, addressed to him by an emancipated convict, named Lam, and which is to be found in the Appendix, had been produced before the magistrates at Paramatta, by Hodges, an inhabitant of that place, in consequence of some resentment that he entertained against him. This letter had been written by Lara, for Hodges, when they were upon terms of friendship, for the purpose of inducing Michael Robinson to assist him in procuring an absolute pardon, which he had understood had been transmitted to New South Wales from your Lordship's office, and which he supposed had been mislaid, or forgotten, in the office of Mr. Secretary Campbell. The contents of the letter from Lara to Robinson are curious; and as they were upon terms of great intimacy, furnish a suspicion that the modes of accelerating the dispatch of business in the secretary's office, were not of the most respectable kind. Relying upon the strength of Lara's recommendation, it appears that application was made Robinson by Hodges, and a friend of his, a dealer in Sydney of the name of Cooper, who was to have given security for the payment of a sum of money to Robinson, in remuneration for his trouble in looking for, and obtaining, the pardon, when it should be found; but on hearing that shorter methods of procuring an emancipation were open to him, by obtaining recommendations to Richard Lewis, to be allowed to send his horse and cart to work upon the Bathurst road, Hodges abandoned this search after the general pardon, and obtained his emancipation in the manner that was formerly adverted to, in treating upon that subject.

With this exception, which only amounts to a suspicion of what might have been done by Robinson, in performing one of the duties of his office, I never heard any thing to the prejudice of his honesty; and I have heard many testimonies given of the general attention, and respectful demeanour, with which he acquitted himself in situations that were strongly calculated to encourage in him an insolent and unbecoming deportment.

The next of the persons mentioned, that have been admitted to the society of government house, by Governor Macquarrie, was Richard Fitzgerald, a person whose situation and conduct have been before adverted to. I think it necessary, however, to observe, that the good conduct of Mr. Fitzgerald, as agent to Mr. J. M‘Arthur during his absence from New South Wales, had procured him an admission to the society of his most respectable family, upon the same footing, upon which a family agent would be admitted in England.

Mr. Francis Howard Greenway was transported to New South Wales for 14 years, for having concealed his effects at his bankruptcy. He had received an education in London, in the office of an eminent architect, and was afterwards employed at Bristol. Upon his arrival in New South Wales, in the year 1814, with a strong recommendation from Governor Philip, Governor Macquarrie gave Greenway a ticket of leave. His first professional exertions were made in drawing Governor Macquarrie's notice to the state of the general hospital at Sydney, and to its defective construction and he was afterwards employed in making designs for other buildings, that Governor Macquarrie has since constructed.

His merits as an architect will be submitted to your Lordship in another place; but Governor Macquarrie's estimate of them led him to solicit for him the appointment to the situation of colonial architect; and after the lighthouse at the South Head was completed, the design of which was very creditable to the taste of Mr. Greenway, he received a conditional pardon. Mr. Greenway is allowed to occupy a small house in Sydney belonging to government, where his family resides.

In referring to the principle, only, by which Governor Macquarrie has been guided in introducing these individuals to the society of government house, and in attempting and encouraging others to adopt it, I can only add the humble testimony of my approbation to that, which has been so unequivocally expressed by the Committee of Parliament, that reported on the state of transportation in 1812; and that which was expressed in more qualified terms by your Lordship, in your dispatch to Governor Macquarrie of 3d February 1814.

In an establishment like that of New South Wales, where a great incentive to reformation and moral improvement seems to be the possession and enjoyment of property; and where the value of those blessings must be greatly enhanced by the participation of the social rights that belong to them in other parts of the world; any means that could communicate that benefit to those who were for ever excluded from it in their native country, seem to be as consistent with the reformatory object of the establishment, as they are with the principles of humanity.

In adopting this sentiment as a rule of his government, at a very early period of it, I have no doubt that Governor Macquarrie was also swayed by that motive, which in a humane mind will always be a powerful one, of endeavouring to relieve depressed merit from a state of despondency and subjection. That he found some of the emancipated convicts of New South Wales in this state, at his arrival, is true; and that many of the free persons who disdained any public association with them, kept up a constrained and private intercourse, whenever they found it beneficial.

Convinced of the rectitude of his own intentions, and not probably calculating upon the possible evils of resistance in quarters where co-operation was absolutely necessary for the success of his measure; fortified also with the approbation of the Parliamentary Committee of 1812, Governor Macquarrie has not only continued his support to the emancipated convicts, by assisting them in their enterprizes and speculations, but has manifested on public occasions towards them a larger share of attention than he has manifested towards those of the free class.

Mr. Meehan, Mr. Fitzgerald, and Mr. Redfern, are the persons who have enjoyed the greatest share of his confidence; and although the governor could not be considered as justly accountable to any one for the selection that he made of bids confidential advisee, yet it has been remarked in the colony, and so often, till at last it has become proverbial, that the surest claim to the favour and confidence of Governor Macquarrie, was that of having once worn the badge of conviction for felony. I state this last circumstance more as a proof of the general feeling produced by his conduct, than as a proof of what his conduct has been in the distribution of this or of other favours that he has it in his power to bestow.

In bestowing upon the emancipated convicts so great a mark as that of introduction to society, he ought to have been aware that the same act which might be consolatory to their feelings, and perhaps to that of their own body, was likely, at the same moment, to be an act of violence to those of the free population. In considering this point, I conceive that the governor has viewed only one of the parties affected by it. He has thought, and often repeated, that New South Wales was a convict colony; that it was established for their benefit; and he further has declared an opinion, which I conceive to be a very erroneous one, that it was brought to its present state (meaning, of course, a state of prosperity) by their means. Of the free classes, and of their origin, as well as of their efforts, he has always entertained a very unfavourable estimate; and although it is true, that a small proportion only of those who have arrived in the condition of free settlers has answered the expectations that were formed of them, or has done justice to the recommendations that accompanied them, yet it should always have been remembered by Governor Macquarrie, that they were the magistrates of the colony; that it was through their means, imperfect as they were, that the control of the convicts, the punishment of their offences, the moral ascendency, was to be maintained; and he ought not to have forgotten, that although the free settlers had not latterly engaged in trade, or in commercial speculations, yet that the best cultivated estates, the greatest quantity of cattle were theirs; and that the best efforts for the solid improvement of the colony had been made by them.

I am anticipating in some measure the details of this subject, which I mean to submit to your Lordship under another head of observation; yet, I now only advert to them, to show that it was not altogether prudent in Governor Macquarrie to underrate the pretensions, or abruptly to wound the feelings, of so important a class of the community. Those persons, for instance, who have been acquainted with the merits of the Rev. Mr. Marsden, and Mr. Simon Lord, and the late Mr. Andrew Thomson, cannot but acknowledge that an attempt to form an association of such persons, even in so insignificant a matter as the trust of the public roads, was a violence done to the feelings of Mr. Marsden, which could not be compensated by flattering those of his two future associates.

Equally unsuccessful, and, in my opinion, more inconsiderate, have been the efforts of Governor Macquarrie to introduce the emancipated convicts to the notice and society of the military bodies.

His success with the officers of the 73d regiment is not a proof against this assertion. The question of the admission of the convicts into society was then new: Governor Macquarrie was colonel of the regiment; and Lieutenant-colonel O'Connell, who commanded it was also favourable to the principle, though he punished that which appeared to him to be an exception to it, in bringing to a court-martial Lieutenant M'Naughton, an officer of his regiment, who had left his guard and joined in play with an emancipated convict, named Nicholls, a superintendent of convicts, and afterwards postmaster, who was much eulogized in a public order by Governor Macquarrie.

Independent of these circumstances, the reports of the association of military men in New South Wales, with persons who had been convicts, or whose characters were suspicious, had not then reached England, and it was only when the 46th regiment left it, and brought with them to New South Wale the reflections that had been made upon their predecessors in the public newspapers, for their association with a certain individual, together with some very coarse, but pointed references to the circumstances of his former life, that the feelings of the officers of the garrison began to be excited against any further association with the emancipated convicts.

As far as I have been informed of the conduct of Lieutenant-colonel Molle, he never pretended to dictate to his officers the line of conduct they should pursue in associating with emancipated convicts, nor ever manifested, by any vexatious regimental regulations, his sense of that conduct. The details of the disputes that ensued between Lieutenant-colonel Molle and his officers and Governor Macquarrie, upon this subject, are in your Lordship's possession; [*but I think it necessary to add, that although they did not originate in, they were much exasperated by the appearance of an anonymous and scurrilous poem, reflecting upon Lieutenant-colonel Molle, that was circulated through the town of Sydney, and thrown into the military barracks.

[* Matter in [] from here, and including the following two paragraphs, were omitted from the edition printed for the House of Lords.]

This poem was afterwards acknowledged by Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth to be the composition of his son, Mr. William Wentworth, after the departure of this gentleman from the colony, a fact which Mr. Wentworth declared he was not acquainted with at the time that Lieutenant-colonel Molle was endeavouring to discover the author, and was suffering the greatest anxiety of mind from a report that had been most wickedly and industriously propagated, that the author of the poem was an officer of his own regiment.

A reproof, for the part that Lieutenant-colonel Molle and his officers had taken against Mr. D. Wentworth, having been transmitted to them by your Lordship, I do not consider it necessary to enter further into the merits of the discussion that gave rise to it. That which took place between Governor Macquarrie and certain officers of the 46th regiment, who had, in the warmth of an address to their commanding officer, cast some strong reflections upon the conduct of Governor Macquarrie in calling to his society certain individuals of the class of emancipated convicts, grew out of the circumstances disclosed by Mr. D. Wentworth on the occasion just alluded to.]

As the whole of the circumstances of this case has been submitted to the highest military authority in England, I do not think it incumbent upon me, at this moment, to consider any other parts of the question than those which bear directly upon the general principle that I am discussing, or that throw a light upon the conduct of Governor Macquarrie in his application of it. In referring to the charges that he preferred against the officers of the 46th regiment, your Lordship will find that Governor Macquarrie does not consider an officer under his command to have any discretion in accepting or refusing an invitation to his table; and Major Bell of the 48th regiment, acting under the influence of the same opinion, considered it as part of his duty to accept a similar invitation, although he was well aware that he should meet Mr. Redfern, whose acquaintance, so injudiciously thrust upon him by Major of Brigade Antill, he had already declined. Now, although b this rule be universally admitted to prevail military garrisons, your Lordship will see that in that, of Sydney, its operation cannot but have an effect, the reverse of that, which you had so strongly brought to the notice of Governor Macquarrie, so far back as the month of February 1814, and which, although he disclaimed in his address to the officers of the 48th regiment at their first inspection, yet he afterwards very pointedly adopted, by inviting several officers of the regiment to meet the individual who was obnoxious to them, and which invitations the governor knew that they could not refuse. It may be said, that the officers were not unanimous in the rejection of Mr. Redfern, and that both that individual and the Rev. Mr. Fulton had been invited by Colonel Erskine to the regimental mess of the 48th regiment. I do not consider it necessary, in this place, to make any observations upon the motives that may have influenced Colonel Erskine, Major Druitt and Major Morisset, in cultivating the acquaintance and society of Mr. Redfern, or upon those that influenced the conduct of the other officers in declining it. This is a question purely of a personal nature, upon which both parties had a right to determine for themselves; but after such a manifestation of their dislike to Mr. Redfern, as a large majority of the officers of the regiment had shown, in withdrawing abruptly, and perhaps not very delicately, from the table at which he was seated, I do not think that Governor Macquarrie consulted either a prudent regard for the feelings of the regiment, or for the harmony that it is so essential to maintain in military societies, by showing to the officers, that although they might take the liberty of avoiding an obnoxious individual at their own table, yet that no such option should be left to them at his. The effect of such a forced introduction of the principle has been much felt in the 48th regiment ever since its arrival in the colony, and has produced in the minds of the officers of that regiment a feeling of aversion for the person thus forced upon them, and a more fixed hostility towards the principle itself.

The attempt of Governor Macquarrie to introduce the emancipated convicts whom I have named into general society, has not been attended with much better effect. In making this attempt, it has been a favourite expression of Governor Macquarrie, and is now adopted by the emancipated convicts themselves, that by setting an example himself, and encouraging association with them in others, he is in fact only restoring these people to the rank in society that they had lost. I cannot think that this favourite expression and argument of Governor Macquarrie can have been either strictly used or well considered by him; inasmuch as there is not one of the persons whom he has thus admitted to his society, to whom (with the exception perhaps of Mr. Redfern) it may not be truly said, that such an admission was a very great elevation. The private and early history of all of them would certainly not have placed their natural rank in society above that level which, by their industry, they had reached. Mr. S. Lord, but for his elevation to the bench of magistrates, and his admission to the society of government house, would have continued to be an industrious, intelligent manufacturer; Mr. James Meehan would have remained an useful subordinate officer in his department; Mr. Michael Robinson would have had the satisfaction of printing his odes, instead of being raised to the titular honours of poet laureat to the government of New South Wales, and reciting his poetry in the government house on birth days; and Mr. Fitzgerald would have enjoyed the fruits of his industry and integrity as an agent, in the just tributes of respect that were paid to both, by the family of Mr. M‘Arthur, as well as others who bore testimony to them; Mr. Greenway would perhaps have procured that gradual admission to society to which his talents, as an architect, would have entitled him, if the respect due to them had not been impaired by his habits of negligence and of indulgence.

The elevation of these persons to a rank in society which they never possessed, and for which, without meaning any reflection upon them, their manners gave them no kind of claim, has not been productive to them of the benefits that were contemplated.

It was in vain for Governor Macquarrie to assemble them, even on public occasions, at government house, or to point them out to the especial notice and favour of strangers, or to favour them with particular marks of his own attention upon these occasions, if they still continued to be shunned or disregarded by the rest of the company.

With the exception of the Reverend Mr. Fulton, and, on some occasions, of Mr. Redfern, I never observed that the other persons of this class participated in the general attentions of the company; and the evidence of Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde and Major Bell, both prove the embarrassment in which they were left on occasions that came within their notice.

Nor has the distinction that has been conferred upon them by Governor Macquarrie produced any effect in subduing the prejudices or objections of the class of free inhabitants to associate with them. One instance only has occurred in which the wife of a respectable individual, and a magistrate, has been visited by the wives of the officers of the garrison, and by a few of the married ladies of the colony. It is an instance that reflects equal credit upon the individual herself, as upon the feelings and motives of those by whom she has been so noticed; but the circumstances of her case were very peculiar and those that led to her introduction to society were very much of a personal kind. It has generally been thought that such instances would have been more numerous if Governor Macquarrie had allowed every person to have followed the dictates of their own judgment upon a subject, on which, of all others, men are least disposed to be dictated to, and most disposed to judge for themselves.

Although the emancipated convicts, whom he has selected from their class, are persons who generally bear a good character in New South Wales, yet that opinion of them is by no means universal. Those, however, who entertained a good opinion of them, would have proved it by their notice, as Mr. M‘Arthur has been in the habit of doing, by the kind and marked notice that he took of Mr. Fitzgerald; and those who entertained a different opinion would not have contracted an aversion to the principle of their introduction, from being obliged to witness what they considered to be an indiscreet and erroneous application of it.

The efforts of Governor Macquarrie have not been confined to the introduction of the emancipated convicts into general society; he has attempted it in the formation of the bank of New South Wales; in that of an agricultural society; and in placing them upon the judicial seat, as members of the governor's court, in which the judge advocate presides. Upon the first of these occasions, it became an object both with Governor Macquarrie and Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, who took an active part in the establishment of the bank, to unite in its favour the support and contributions of the individuals of all classes of the colony. Governor Macquarrie felt assured, that, without such co-operation, the bank could not be established ate for he was convinced that the emancipated convicts were the most opulent members of the community. A committee was formed for the purpose of drawing up the rules and regulations of the establishment, in which are to be found the names of George Howe, the printer of the Sydney Gazette, who was also a retail dealer Mr. Simon Lord, and Mr. Edward Eager, all emancipated convicts, and the last only conditionally.

Governor Macquarrie had always understood, and strongly wished, that in asking for the co-operation of all classes of the community in the formation of the bank, a share in its direction and management should also be communicated to them.

Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, in addressing a meeting that was held at Sydney for the purpose of discussing the measure, had, generally, stated to them, that every t interest in the bank establishment would be open to the emancipated convicts. This declaration was immediately taken advantage of by one of the leading members of the class, Mr. Edward. Eager, who immediately became a subscriber of nine shares, trusting always that so large an interest would secure him a seat in the direction.

On the day in which the resolutions that had been prepared by the committee were to be submitted to the general meeting, it was intimated to Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, by six of those gentlemen who had been nominated to him as fit persons for the direction, that Mr. Edward Eager was to be proposed by Mr. Redfern as a candidate for that office; and four out of those six persons having declared to the judge advocate their intention of withdrawing from it at once if Mr. Eager was admitted, the judge advocate, coinciding with them entirely in the propriety of his exclusion, introduced a resolution, which now stands the seventh rule and regulation of the bank, by which it is declared that no person should be eligible as a director who should not be absolutely and unconditionally free.

In introducing this resolution to the notice of the meeting, I am informed that Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde made some severe reflections both upon the impolicy admitting such persons into the direction of a commercial establishment, whose names and condition might justly injure its reputation abroad, as well as the unpleasant consequences that might happen to free persons lately arrived in the colony, a and who should become members of the direction of the bank, from a near association with those whom they might have possibly and very recently seen, on the passage to the colony, wearing the badges of conviction; and who, by means of a conditional pardon and a share in the bank, might immediately be eligible to a seat in the direction. This allusion is stated to have given great offence to Mr. Redfern, Mr. Eager, and the other emancipated convicts who were present. The resolution, however, was adopted; and Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, in submitting it to Governor Macquarrie, found that it was entirely opposed to the expectations and to the views that he had formed, as well in favour of the bank, as the opportunity that its establishment would have afforded of bringing forward the emancipated convicts. The disappointment, however, that had been sustained by Mr. Eager on this occasion was soothed by his receiving from Governor Macquarrie an absolute pardon.

In endeavouring to form an agricultural society, soon after his arrival in the colony, Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde had communicated with several of his friends, who fully concided with him in the importance and utility of such a measure; but being informed that it would not receive the sanction of Governor Macquarrie, unless the society should include all classes of the inhabitants, the judge advocate did not then suggest it to the governor. He however resumed his project in the year 1819, and mentioned it to Governor Macquarrie, from whom he received a private note, in which he found reason to conclude that the former opinion of his friends was well founded, and that the system of ballot, by which it was proposed that the members of the agricultural society should be elected, was not agreeable to the wishes of the governor.

Upon another occasion also, when the intention of applying to him was announced in a cursory manner, on the part of a few individuals, for permission to meet and represent certain grievances to His Majesty's government, the governor observed, that as the grievances were general, the meeting should be general also, and include all classes of the inhabitants. Upon the signification of this opinion, the meeting did not take place.

Governor Macquarrie has stated, in answer to the observations that his conduct on these occasions had excited, that the representations to him in favour of an agricultural society, or of a meeting for taking into consideration any public grievances, were not official, and that he never positively objected to either. In neither case, certainly, were the applications official; nor were the objections positive; but in my opinion, the consequences which are admitted to have ensued from the private communications, and the mere intimations that took place, afford the strongest evidence of the powerful effect of Governor Macquarrie's known opinions, in putting a negative upon all measures in which the emancipated convicts were concerned, and that did not strictly agree with his own. It may be alleged, that the same reason would have operated in their admission to the direction of the bank of New South Wales, in which Governor Macquarrie's views were counteracted.

To this it may be observed, that the personal character of Mr. Eager, and all the influence of Mr. Campbell, the governor's secretary, who took a leading part in the establishment of the bank, were quite adverse to his introduction into it, or that of any other member of his class.

The selection of Mr. Lord, as an assistant member of the supreme court, on the first arrival of Mr. Justice Field, has already been adverted to; but another instance occurred in which the same feeling was displayed.

Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, with a view to accommodate the inhabitants of the colony, determined upon holding his court at Windsor, and Mr. Fitzgerald was appointed by the governor to act with him.

The situation of Mr. Fitzgerald, as an emancipated convict and retail dealer in goods and spirits, has already been mentioned; and Governor Macquarrie was equally insensible on this occasion, as he had been on others, to the impropriety of introducing to the judicial seat those who had once been convicts, and who were necessarily interested in the local trade and dealings of the lower classes of the inhabitants.

In Van Dieman's Land no instance of this kind has occurred, except in the person of Mr. G. Gatehouse, whose character and conduct have already been mentioned.

It was with much surprise that I learnt from Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, that Governor Macquarrie had never, either in conversation or in his official communications; adverted to the opinions that he himself had entertained upon the subject, or to the instructions with which he had been furnished by your Lordship. Lieutenant-governor Sorrell, however, in following the dictates of his own good judgment, and in the single instance in which he has tried the principle, has effected more in its favour than certainly has been, or is ever likely to be, accomplished in New South Wales. Mr. G. Gatehouse has been invited to the government house at Hobart Town on public occasions; and I understood from those who were most opposed to the principle of admitting persons of his class, that his conduct in society was no less becoming than it had before been exemplary in private. Lieutenant-governor Sorrell did not think it either necessary or prudent to admit to the government house, on public occasions, Mr. Wells, the clerk in his office; and no other individual of his class holds any official situation beyond the rank of constable or gaoler in Van Dieman's Land.

After stating these circumstances, I cannot refrain from expressing my regret, that the question had ever been made so much one of policy by Governor Macquarrie, as to have been brought into discussion with those whom he thought his power might control.

The differences that took place between Governor Macquarrie and Mr. J. H. Bent, upon the question of allowing these persons to practise in the courts as solicitors, we reproductive of great injury to individuals; and although Governor Macquarrie was not responsible for it, yet it cannot be denied that his interference with Mr. J. I I. Bent, upon a regulation of the court in which he presided, was founded upon a great mistake of the extent of his authority; and I have often been assured by persons who were much acquainted with Mr. Bent, that it was a sense of this interference that first excited resistance in him; and that but for that feeling, leis objections to the admission of convict solicitors would have yielded to the strong necessity by which it, was supported, and would have been justified. I do not see how that necessity would have been relieved by the proposed introduction of the two clerks of Mr. J. H. Bent, and Mr. Ellice Bent, as solicitors, as the former would have been obliged to quit his situation as clerk and registrar of the supreme court; and the clerk of Mr. Ellice Bent, Mr. Foster, had himself been a convict.

I have detailed, more at length, the events to which this question has given rise, because they will enable your Lordship to form a more accurate view of the manner in which it has affected the situation of the emancipated convicts, and to account for those feelings that now separate them from the free classes. Those of the former have been greatly excited. Their ambition has been encouraged by the manner in which their conduct, as well as their exertions, have been viewed and rewarded by Governor Macquarrie. The same feelings have been disappointed and exasperated by, the events of the late trials, to which I have adverted; and no compromise is now to be expected, as long as they are left in a state of uncertain dependance upon the discretionary power of any individual for the enjoyment of the rights to which they have considered themselves entitled.

Both parties look upon each other as intruders. The free settlers considering that the rank, as well as the rights of the emancipated convicts, should be always kept in subordination to their own: while the emancipated convicts look upon no title to property in New South Wales, to be so good or so just, as that which has been derived through the several gradations of crime, conviction, service, emancipation and grant.

Both parties are equally disposed to depreciate the pretensions of each other, but I sincerely believe that the great body of the emancipated convicts do not partake of the ambition of their leaders, Mr. Redfern, Mr. Eager, Mr. Terry, and Mr. W. Hutchinson; that they would be satisfied with protection from oppression and insult, and due encouragement in their undertakings; and that they feel great indifference about their admission either to public offices, or to any other rank in society than that which their own industry and good character will justly and naturally procure for them.

In referring to the observations that I have now made upon the condition of the convicts in New South Wales, or such as it has been during the administration of Governor Macquarrie, your Lordship will, I hope, find the means of forming a judgment of the conduct of that officer in the most difficult, and perhaps the most important part of his duty.

In carrying into effect that part of your Lordship's instructions by which I was directed to investigate the conduct of any officer in the colony, however high his rank, or sacred his character, if, in the course of my inquiry, I conceived such a measure to be necessary, I trust that I shall be found neither to have shrunk from that part of my duty, nor to have compromised the authority, of any individual, by the manner in which it was performed.

I certainly felt, on several occasions, that much of the representations that had been made against Governor Macquarrie had proceeded from a personal feeling of enmity towards him; and in that which was submitted to your Lordship by Mr. Bailey, respecting the state of the female convicts at Paramatta, wherein the governor was charged with neglecting the means of affording to them both control and lodging, I still perceive the existence of the same feeling. At the same time, I am compelled to add, that in not adopting at an earlier period some remedy for the evils of so gross a nature, and applying to them the means that he possessed, Governor Macquarrie has manifested in his conduct an insensibility to those evils, and has given them a permanence, which is greatly to be deplored.

With this exception, for which I confess that I feel a difficulty in accounting whatever there is of error in the conduct of Governor Macquarrie, in regulating the discipline of the convicts, may be attributed to a humane disposition, that led him to view their crimes in the light of misfortunes, which they were to repair in New South Wales by success, rather than as violations of the law, for which they were to atone to their country by the bitterness of exile, or by the severities of toil and privation.

In the dispensation of early indulgences to the convicts, he has been guided partly by this feeling, and also by the recommendations of persons in England, in whom he felt he could place confidence; but he seems to have here forgotten, that however just on other principles this consideration might be, it was a violation of that which he professed to make his only rule in giving rewards, viz. good conduct in the colony.

I will not again repeat the observations that I have already made respecting the considerations for winch remissions of sentence have been given; and with regard to the general employment of the convicts, it appears to me that neither Governor Macquarrie's views, nor measures, have kept pace with the rapid increase of their numbers. He has always seemed to fear the evils of their dispersion more than those of their accumulation, and has not sufficiently reflected upon the consequences to the convicts or to the morals of the colony, in concentrating in the towns such a mass of moral poison, rather than in diluting it by a gradual dispersion of the convicts in the remoter districts of the colony.

The evil consequences that might have been expected to arise from exposing convicts to the time temptations, and to the contamination of the same vices that had been their ruin in England, have been realized in New South Wales; while the chances of reformation, and I may also add the progress of colonization, have been much diminished and checked by the system that has always been, and I believe is to this day, pursued, of reserving the most useful convicts for the service of the government in the towns, and sending the least useful to the settlers in the country.

Governor Macquarrie has stated that he cannot consider it a part of his duty, as governor, to select and separate the useful from the useless convicts, or to determine, except in special eases, to whom they are to be assigned: I trust, however, that your Lordship will find reason to conclude, as Lieutenant-governor Sorrell has done, that it is not only an important duty, but that it is perfectly practicable: that it tends to economize the expense of subsistence to the government: and that while it adds to the prosperity of the settlers, it also diminishes the necessity of punishing the convicts for neglect of work, that, in many cases, may arise from their Incapacity alone.

Governor Macquarrie has also alleged that he could not reconcile it to himself to distribute the most useful convicts to the settlers, and leave the worst to government.

A certain proportion of mechanics might justly have been retained for the purpose of constructing those buildings that were much wanted for government, or that were required by the wants of the community; but I do not conceive that it was consistent with good policy either to add to the evils of a crowded and vicious population in the town of Sydney, by retaining there a large body of the most useful mechanics, or to augment the expense of mechanical labour to the settlers by such a parsimonious distribution, as that which has been pursued from the commencement of Governor Macquarrie's administration to its close. It has been his misfortune to mistake the improvement and embellishment of the towns, for proofs of the solid prosperity of the colonists, and to forget that the labour by which these objects have been procured, was a source of heavy expense to the British treasury, and that other means of employment might have been tried and resorted to, the effect of which would have been to regulate in a cheaper and less ostentatious form, the progress of colonization and of punishment.

It is necessary, however, to state in justification of Governor Macquarrie's conduct, that the same system had always been acted upon by his predecessors, except during the short interval of Colonel Johnston's administration; that the penal as well as the colonial objects of the establishment of New South Wales had always been in a state of conflict as soon as ever the necessities and privations that first accompanied it had ceased or diminished; that many buildings were required for the use of the colony, and that the belief that has always prevailed, and no doubt was much cherished and encouraged by the settlers, of the inexpediency of all attempts to subsist the convicts by the produce of their own labour, disposed Governor Macquarrie to employ them in mechanical rather than in agricultural operations, by which they necessarily were more confined to the towns.

The want of good superintendence has operated as another cause of the difficulties of controlling the convicts in all situations, and has added to the risk of placing them in those that were more remote.

With regard to the discipline of the convicts, your Lordship will have seen, from the observations and references that I have made to the several orders of Governor Macquarrie, that a very commendable degree of attention has been paid by him to the enforcement of religious duties, wherever it was practicable; that he has endeavoured to restrain the use and severity of corporal punishment; and that the instances in which he has interposed his own authority in ordering it, have been such only as required summary notice and punishment, and have not been of frequent occurrence.

In the encouragement of marriage amongst the convicts, Governor Macquarrie has shown the most anxious disposition to improve their morals and condition; and in admitting them to society, if his selection does not appear to have been the most judicious, or his mode of introducing them the most successful, he has certainly had to contend with prejudices of a very powerful kind in the free population.

These prejudices are now, I fear, too deeply fixed to be removed; and the ambitious feelings of the higher classes of emancipated convicts have been too long encouraged and cherished, to expect from them either submission or conciliation. Governor Macquarrie has thus left to his successor the difficult, and I way even add, the hopeless task, of bringing back to their proper and just standard the pretensions of two large classes of the inhabitants of New South Wales, without giving to tho one party, a supposed ground of triumph, and without inflicting upon the other, too large a measure of vexation and disgrace.

Nature of the future Establishments for Convicts in New South Wales.

I HAVE thus endeavoured, and perhaps too much at length, to detail to your Lordship the various circumstances affecting the several conditions of the convicts transported to New South Wales, with a view to enable your Lordship to form an opinion of the expediency of those measures which, in obedience to your instructions, I am about to recommend, either for correcting whatever may be wrong, in the present system, or for rendering it as applicable as it was formerly considered to be, to the imposes of punishment.

In perusing the foregoing observations, your Lordship will not fail to have observed that the great cause of the diminished effect of transportation has arisen from the increase in the numbers transported. All the evils of association, the difficulties of superintendence and control, whether arising from the extension and variety of the employments, or from the more laborious duties of the magistrates and superintendents, have arisen chiefly from this source. It has led, though in my opinion, not necessarily so, to the accumulation of a great many convicts in the towns; and it has certainly exceeded, during the period of the last three years, in New South Wales, and during that of two years in Van Dieman's Land, the positive demands of the settlers for labour.

I found these causes in operation on my arrival; and I left them operating in increased force at my departure. It was with that impression that I never ceased to express to Governor Macquarrie, during the whole of my residence in New South Wales, the uneasiness I felt at the constant arrivals of convict ships, and the anxiety with which I looked to the departure of the expedition for the new settlement at Port Macquarrie, which might tend in some degree to relieve the settled districts of New South Wales, as well as the government establishments, from the constant pressure of new arrivals.

The apprehensions entertained by Governor Macquarrie, of a want of animal food in the colony, alone prevented the departure of this expedition; but I since have learnt that it was dispatched on the 18th of March, about a month after I left the colony.

How far the late emigrations of free settlers to New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land have relieved the pressure, I have not any means of determining, I will only beg leave to observe that the great advantage that is derived from their introduction depends much more upon their respectability and their means, than it does upon their numbers.

Another cause that I think will also be apparent, is the want of a demand for the produce of convict labour.

It was with a view to revive this demand that I was induced, though at a late period of my stay in New South Wales, and not without some apprehensions of the consequences of the measure, to give that consent to the distillation of spirits from grain, which your Lordship had deemed necessary for its adoption. If the sanguine expectations formed by Governor Macquarrie and other persons of the effects of this measure, are at all equalled by the result, the evils of a restricted demand for the produce of land and labour in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, will be much and speedily diminished; and the advantages of the employment and support of a number of convicts, who otherwise would be a charge upon the crown, will be much promoted. It was in this view of the subject that I gave my consent to the measure of distillation of spirits from rain in the colony; and I reserve for a separate communication the details by which the measure was to be introduced. Before, however, I proceeded in the examination of the measures that seemed most likely to correct the evils of diminished punishment in the colony, I was desirous of obtaining the opinion of the most experienced persons in it, upon the best modes of employing convicts, and the most probable means of stimulating their industry.

It seemed to me to be a hopeless, if it had been an advisable task, to attempt revive in a peopled district, such as the county of Cumberland may now be considered to be all the hardships, privations and severities, that belonged to it in its unsettled state.

Those hardships, as your Lordship has seen, were sometimes greater and sometimes less, than were desirable for a state of punishment of the worst offenders; and although it appeared to me to be possible to regulate their application, by a removal of the convicts to a new and distant settlement, yet it was absolutely impossible to make such an experiment in the old one.

I therefore addressed certain queries to the persons, whom I thought to be the best informed upon the subject of convict labour, requesting their opinion upon those kinds, that they had found most conducive to reform, and those to which they considered the soil and climate of the colony to be most favourable. I also inquired of them the most probable methods of stimulating the labour of convicts, and the possibility of combining with it, the interest of the master, as well as the servant. The opinions of the several gentlemen whom I consulted are to be found in the Appendix; they all concur in the superior advantages of every kind of agricultural occupation in effecting the reform of convicts, as well as in affording the best means of employing them. The opinions which I would more particularly beg leave to point out 10 your Lordship's notice, are those of the Rev. Mr. Marsden, Lt. Bell, Sir John Jamieson, Mr. John and Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, Mr. Moore, Mr. Cox, the Rev. Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Howe, and it is from these opinions, combined with my Awn observation, that I now proceed to submit to your Lordship, the means of restoring to transportation to New South Wales, as far as it is practicable in the settled districts, the salutary effects of punishment, and the more probable means of reform, considering both in their connection with the present and actual state of the population.

I will proceed in the same order that I have observed, in describing the present state, or existing defects of this punishment, that the reference to the measures of improvement, as well as the defects they propose to cure, may be more distinctly kept in view.

I would in the first place propose, that the descriptions that are given of the convicts in the hulks, should embrace as many particulars of their preceding history, conduct and employment, as can be authentically reported there, together with whatever can be obtained from the gaolers of the different gaols in the kingdom, from whence they have been sent; these particulars expressing, in addition to the age, the single or married condition of the convict, the number of children that he may save, legitimate or illegitimate, and whether the mother of the children is left with means of support or is married. I need hardly add, that the most essential point in the history of the convicts, is the fact of their having suffered one, or more preceding transportations, or other punishment.

The document containing these particulars should be addressed to the Governor of New South Wales, or Lieutenant-governor of Van Dieman's Land, and every care should be taken to keep the particulars stated in it, as much as possible from the knowledge of the convicts themselves.

The directions already issued by the Navy Board, to the surgeons superintendent of the convict ships, provide for the reports of the convicts during the passage, and although this period of trial is but a short one, and that men with the worst dispositions may for the hope of temporary benefits, during the passage and recommendation at the end of it, conduct themselves well, yet I think that the advantages of attending to these recommendations, provided that they are the strict consequences of good conduct, are so important in preserving discipline during the lump, that they ought to be attended to, but to the extent only, of allowing the recommended convict to go to the service of a respectable settler.

The next point that occurs, is to prevent as much as possible all communication between the convicts and the town of Sydney, either by letter or message, during the period that takes places between the arrival of the ship and the disembarkation. It frequently happens, that the convict ships are under the necessity of coming to an anchor in the space that lies between the entrance of the North and South Heads, and Sydney Cove, a distance of five miles. As boats are perpetually plying in this passage, the prevention of their access, should here be begun, and any instance in which it takes place should be communicated by the telegraph, (that I recommended Governor Macquarrie to erect near the lighthouse) and the arrival of a convict ship bow the Heads should also be communicated by the same means to the harbour police, for the purpose of procuring their immediate attendance upon the ship, from its arrival within the Heads, to the appointed anchorage between the forts.

The naval officer is the first person that is permitted to go on board the convict ships, and I will here repeat the recommendation that I often gave to this officer at Sydney, to prevent the convicts, by whom his boat is manned, from conversing with those that are just arrived, and of making his visit to the newly arrived convict ship as short as possible.

Free passengers who may happen to arrive in the convict ships, should be allowed to communicate with the shore in the ship's boats, and not in those that belong to the port. The period that takes place before the disembarkation of the convicts should be made as short as may be consistent with the necessary inquiries into the conduct of the convicts, and their treatment on board; and it the governor should be absent, the duty of inspection should be performed by the lieutenant-governor, or the colonial secretary.

In addition to the precautions that should be taken to prevent the access or information of the convicts in the town to those on board, I conceive that no boat whatever, except that of the superintendent of convicts, and the commissariat boat, conveying supplies of fresh meat and vegetables, should be allowed to communicate with the convict ships till the convicts are disembarked, and that the sentries on board should be made to challenge all boats that approach within ten yards of the ship. I have already pointed out the situation in which I conceive it is most fit they should be made to anchor, and sentries at each end of the batteries that command this position should equally be required to give their attention to the prevention of access, and in cases of wilful disobedience, to fire, by way of intimidation in the first instance, and afterwards more directly upon the object.

The first distribution of the convicts affording, in my judgment, one of the most important means of their reform, the names of the inhabitants who are in want of servants should be previously made known to the colonial secretary, either by themselves, or through the magistrates of the different districts, with a description of the place of residence of the settler, and of the servant they wish to have.

It is hardly necessary to observe, that in placing this duty in the hands of a high and responsible officer, who is now, and will henceforth be appointed by the Crown, my principal object is to secure the performance of it from the operation or the suspicion of corrupt and partial views.

In the selection of convicts, I conceive, that an useful reference may be made both to the degrees of their crimes, as well as to their capacity for labour, but that the first should always preponderate.

Acting upon the information received in this country, and transmitted to the governor of New South Wales, the convicts who are described to have the best character, and, who are generally those that have been accustomed to the operations of agriculture, should be sent to the large estates of the most respectable settlers, where the advantages to be derived from good character will be appreciated, and those of example in the master, and good conduct in the servant, will be reciprocally felt.

In making the selection of the settlers, the colonial secretary will be guided by the knowledge that he has it in his power to acquire, respecting their property and character, from the magistrates, from the chief constables, from the musters of at the inhabitants, and from the chaplains. No settler who is now in possession of a a smaller portion of land than 50 acres, and that is not employed in the cultivation of gardens, should be allowed to have a convict assigned to him.

Invidious distinctions may appear perhaps to be made in the distribution of the best convicts, but the principle upon which it should profess to proceed, and by which, as far as possible, it should be guided, should be that of assigning, not only the convicts with the best character, but those who are most skilful, to the settlers of the best character, and of endeavouring to preserve a moral distinction, even in conferring a civil benefit.

The value of good character and good conduct will then perhaps begin to be felt, and more seriously considered than it has hitherto been in New South Wales, both by the convicts and the settlers; and the expectations that are known to be cherished by the former in England, of a successful employment of capital in Sydney, and the practice that ought to be discouraged, of carrying capital with them, either in the shape of money or instruments, will be put to an end to, because it will cease to be profitable.

It is always difficult in England to ascertain. Whether the property and money conveyed to New South Wales by the convicts, are the fruits of plunder, or the contributions of friends; but in New South Wales, every thing in the shape of property that is to minister to the indulgence of a convict, who is in the condition of a labourer or that he obtains from any other source than his labour, should be carefully kept from him on his arrival. The establishment of the savings bank, by Mr. Justice Field, to which I have already had occasion to advert, offers the best means of providing for the deposit of convict funds, and they should not be allowed to draw them till their condition was improved by their good conduct, testified by, their masters.

When it is known to the convicts on their arrival, that by reason of their condition their property will be of no use to them, and when the advantages of such a place of deposit are explained by better and higher authority than that of the present superintendent of convicts, William Hutchinson, the savings bank at Sydney will be more resorted to than heretofore; and the excellent principle upon which these establishments are formed, will be more operative than Mr. Justice Field was inclined to hope, from the state of the colony in the year 1820.

The next class of convicts to be provided for, are the mechanics and tradesmen; eat these (and with reference always to previous good conduct and character, as testified by previous information, and subject to the reservation I shall hereafter make in favour of the government) the whole should be left to the settlers; and in assigning them a condition may be made, that for every useful mechanic thus assigned, there should also be taken one or more convicts of an inferior description.

This regulation may appear to bear hard upon the master workmen or tradesmen living in the towns; but I conceive that the principle of excluding convicts from the towns is so strongly in favour of their moral improvement, that it ought not to be broken in upon by the consideration of the advantage that might accrue to the master tradesmen, who, otherwise, are not the most correct in point of moral conduct.

The last and a very large description of convicts, for whose distribution and employment it is necessary to provide, are the manufacturers, the artizans, soldiers and sailors, persons of higher rank in those professions, and mercantile clerks.

As I do not conceive that it is consistent with the policy by which this country has always been guided, to encourage in any of her colonies, however distant, the establishment and growth of manufactures; and as the association that is necessarily produced by manufactures or any difficult mechanical operation conducted in them, is always found to diminish the effect of venal restraint, I think that no encouragement should be given, in the shape of convict skill and labour, to such manufactures as interfere with either object, or that require a number of men to be confined to one spot. The only manufactures hitherto established are those of Mr. Lord, for coarse cloths, stockings, and blankets, and two for hats. From the specimens of these articles that I have brought with me from New South Wales, your Lordship be enabled to form a judgment of the progress that has already been made in New South Wales, in the manufacture of a principal article of export from the mother country, and of the expediency of discontinuing any encouragement to its further progress.

A few of the settlers have manufactured cloth and blankets on their own estates, and tan their own leather; and I conceive that when the manufacture of these articles is so conducted, it affords an useful employment to the convicts, and is equally beneficial to the settlers. To such persons, weavers and tanners may continue to be usefully and very properly assigned. For the remainder of these, with artizans, the sailors and soldiers, but more especially the last, I should propose the following employments:

Your Lordship is, I believe, aware that the greatest part of the tract now called the county Of Cumberland, is encumbered with trees, varying in size and number; but front the horizontal direction of their roots, always presenting a formidable obstacle to the first efforts, either of an emigrating colonist or an emancipated convict. In the early periods of the colony, when the use of the plough was seldom resorted to, the inconvenience of cultivating land, from which the roots of the trees had not been eradicated, was, in some measure diminished by the use of the hoe. By this system the land was soon exhausted, its productive powers were not brought into action, and a large portion ok its surface being inaccessible to the operations either of the hoe or the plough, remained uncultivated. Mr. Oxley states this proportion to be at least "one-eighth". The roots of the trees that yet remain in the lands, imperfectly cleared in the earlier periods, render the use of the plough, even at the present moment, expensive and difficult in those lands; and it is the opinion of the best cultivators, that the soil of the largest portion of the county of Cumberland requires all the advantages of good cultivation to make it productive; and that these advantages cannot be obtained without a previous and perfect eradication of the roots of trees.

Although some of the higher classes of settlers are impressed with this conviction, and have begun to clear their new land entirely, or to perform that operation in the old, vet they find it to be attended with a heavy expense, which very few are able to afford, and which the lower classes of settlers cannot. It has occurred to me therefore, as well as to some of those gentlemen to whose opinion I have before referred, that it would be conferring a great benefit on the colony, if parties of convicts should be allowed to be employed in the first operations of cutting down the trees and clearing the land of roots; and that when thus prepared, it might either be put up to sale for what it would fetch, or that it should be granted to individuals, subject to the repayment of the cost of the labour incurred in meat and wheat to His Majesty's stores, and which should remain as a charge and lien upon the land, and be considered as preferable to all other claims upon it, until perfect payment.

I will first consider the nature and the effect of this mode of employing the particular class of convicts for whom I would destine it.

From the observations I was enabled to make at the agricultural establishments it Emu Plains and Grose Farm, I found that there was no description of convicts that could not be employed in the simple operation of cutting down wood, and in the subsequent one of burning it off and taking up the roots. It possesses also this great advantage of effecting a separation of the convicts even in their work, it being seldom requisite that more than two should work together. The work is easily and soon learnt, it is capable of being measured and tasked, and it is accommodated to the strength of each convict; there is no complexity in it, and the eye, as well as the ear of the superintendent will soon direct him to the convicts that are indolent, or are neglecting their work.

For the sailors and soldiers this labour is particularly well calculated, as well is the subsequent operation of levelling inequalities of ground, and putting it in a condition to receive the plough. The weavers, artizans, and domestic servants may be gradually accustomed to the same operation, new as it is to them; and instances of it have already occurred at Emu Plains, by employing this class of convicts in the lighter work of burning off the timber, collecting it into heaps, and eradicating the stumps or roots by piling green sods around and over them for the reception of fire.

The parties of men employed in these operations should not exceed forty, having an overseer who should be a free person.

The difficulty of providing lodging for them may be explained by a reference to what has already been observed respecting the road parties.

Their huts may be erected in the course of one day, without any other expense than that of tools and nails; and as this mode of lodging is not found to be injurious to their health in the climate of New South Wales, it possesses the additional advantage of equalizing the condition of the class of convicts employed by the Crown with those employed by the settlers, who, as I have already observed, are all lodged in the same manner.

As I propose that these parties should be distributed in the districts that are at some distance from the towns, and that, if possible, they should not be placed nearer to any public road than three miles, I conceive that the temptations to plunder that have been observed to exist amongst the road parties, or to exchange their clothes and blankets for spirits, will not occur to them.

This employment, as well as all the others that have been already enumerated, are destined only for the convicts of the best character. The clerks and persons in higher situations of life may be employed as assistants to the overseers, in keeping the accounts of the work, and in making the weekly returns of labour and tools but, with regard to the employment of this description of convicts, certainly the most difficult of any, I would generally observe, that it is not so much the performance even of clerical labour that constitutes their punishment, as the privation of those comforts to which they have been accustomed, and the removal from those gratifications by which they have been corrupted; to them any employment, however trifling, that takes them from a town, is of itself a punishment.

Care should be taken by the overseer of the parties to make an accurate admeasurement of the task allotted to each convict, and to note the circumstances of a local nature, that will frequently occur to impede the regular and allotted performance of it.

The value of the timber when cut is generally very inconsiderable, as it chiefly consists of the eucalyptus or gum tree; but there are tracts upon which the more valuable species are found, and in which the employment of the wood-cutting gangs will be beneficial in procuring an article that is always useful in the colony, and always in demand for farm buildings and fences.

It would also much encourage the employment of convicts by the settlers, in the same operation, if an exportable value could be given to any of the several species of timber that are found in the interior of the colony, and that might afford freight to the convict ships and traders on their homeward voyages either to India or to England. The species of wood that are denominated stringey bark, iron bark, blue gum, and cedar, are those which have been found to be most useful in the colony; but from specimens lately imported into England, their value, especially that of stringey bark, is very questionable, and yet remains to be roved. The beef wood is the only timber of an ornamental kind that has hitherto been discovered; and although it is plentiful, yet it is very inferior to the ornamental woods of Brazil and the West Indies. All the species of wood that I have mentioned are both hard and heavy, and although they will long continue in general use in the colony, where these objections have ceased to be of much importance, yet as articles of export, I should fear the event of any competition between them and the woods of other parts of the world, unless the disadvantages of an expensive freight are counterbalanced by an entire exemption from duty.

By the Act of the 54 Geo. III. c. 66, no duty of customs was chargeable on wood fit for naval purposes imported from any place within the limits of the East India Company's charter; and the duties that had been imposed on such wood by the 54 Geo. III. c. 36, were repealed.

By the Act of the 59 Geo. III. c. 52, that consolidated the several duties of customs, and repealed former Acts imposing duties, a duty of 1l. 10s. on every load, containing 50 cubic feet, was laid upon teak wood or other wood fit for ship building, imported from places within the limits of the East India Company's charter, but a reference is made to the above mentioned Act of 54 Geo. III. c. 66, by which such wood was admitted free of duty. It would therefore appear to be doubtful whether that Act is repealed by the 59 Geo. III. c. 52; but if that should appear to be the case, I should recommend that all duty whatever, upon any wood imported Into Great Britain, the produce of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, should be repealed.

The bark of the mimosa decurrens, that has received in New South Wales the name of the black wattle, as well as almost all the various species of mimosa and eucalyptus, contain a great proportion of tannin; and in consequence of the expense of freighting such an article to England, in bulk, one attempt has been made in Van Dieman's Land, by an individual there, to reduce it to the form of an extract.

With a view to encourage the employment of the convicts, by individuals, in the operation of collecting and reducing this bark, which is of a very simple kind, and partakes very much of the same recommendations as those that exist in favour of cutting wood and clearing land, I should recommend that the present duty on extract of bark for tanning leather, and amounting to three shillings per cwt. should, when certified to be made by convicts in New South Wales, and exported direct from thence to Great Britain, be entirely taken off.

Although I may be anticipating, in some degree, the mention of the resources of the colony of New South Wales, yet I cannot here omit the importance of one that has already been introduced to public notice in the colony, as well as in this country, by the great success that has attended it, and as affording, in an eminent degree, opportunities of employing convicts to advantage.

Your Lordship will hereafter observe the grounds from which I think it reasonable to conclude that the tillage of the land in New South Wales will never be removed to a great distance from the coasts; and that the expense of transporting the produce of cultivated land will always form a heavy deduction from the profits of cultivation.

A great portion of the country that has been discovered to the west and north of Bathurst is found to be particularly calculated, even in its natural state, for the feeding of sheep and cattle. With some improvement of the most difficult passes of the blue mountains that separate that tract from the sea coast, the transport thither of wool and the driving of cattle may be rendered more practicable and less expensive than it is at present.

Although the country that lies between the Bathurst Plains and the course of the river Hastings has not yet been explored, I think it most probable, that in this direction there will be found several large tracts of natural pasturage, that will afford the means of feeding and rearing numerous flocks of sheep; and, generally speaking, the character of the country, the temperature of the climate, and the pasturage, may be pronounced to be highly favourable to those more delicate breeds that have hitherto attained their greatest perfection in the warmer climates of the south of Europe. The success that has attended the perseverance and intelligence of Mr. J. M‘Arthur, in the improvement of his own flocks, affords an unquestionable proof of the value of this branch of rural industry in New South Wales, both as it regards the employment of the convicts and the saving of all expense to government in their subsistence, as well as in the production of an article of export to Great Britain, that is indispensible to the progress of her great staple manufacture; and that while it renders her independent of foreign supplies, causes no interference with the natural and most beneficial course of her own agriculture, or with the produce of her own soil.

The employment of the convicts in the management of sheep in New South Wales, I conceive, may be made highly conducive to their improvement and reform; not, however, in the manner in which it is conducted in Van Dieman's Land, where, as your Lordship has seen, the convict is intrusted with a more confidential and extensive charge than he is capable of managing, and which the eye or control of his master seldom reaches, but by providing, that all persons who apply for the temporary occupation of a large tract of land, for the purpose of grazing, shall not only perform the condition now required in Van Dieman's Land, of constructing a principal stock yard for their sheep and cattle, but that they shall employ an overseer, who shall be a free and unconvicted person, and require his constant residence at the principal station.

With a view also to encourage the more frequent and permanent residence of the proprietors in these distant stations, grants of land might be made to them, in proportion to the number of convicts that they engaged to employ, as well as to the numbers of sheep and cattle that the proprietors take with them in the first instance; a power being added of purchasing, at a low rate, such larger quantity as they might then require; and, with a further understanding, that as the number of their flocks and herds increased, a further augmentation of land would be made to them gratuitously.

The principal object of these regulations is, to induce persons of respectability to engage personally in the rearing of sheep and cattle, on an extensive scale, in the interior of the country, to employ convicts in that occupation, and to provide as much control as possible for them, through the presence of their masters, or a free overseer. No instance has occurred in which this system has been so steadily pursued, as that of Mr. J. M‘Arthur. He now maintains, upon his estate at the Cow Pastures, between 90 and 100 convicts, who are all employed in the management of sheep or cattle, or in cultivating as much grain as may be requisite for his own consumption.

The local advantages possessed by this gentleman, in having had a large grant of good land made to him at the Cow Pastures, and in the virtual occupation of a part of those lands that were reserved for the use of the government herds, have been greater than have fallen to the lot of any other individual in the colony. Mr. M‘Arthur has, however, made the best use of them; and in the constant employment of a large number of convicts indiscriminately assigned to him as they arrived, and by the important improvement he has made in the value of his fleeces, he has well repaid the liberality of His Majesty's Government.

I conceive that similar indulgence should be given, and the same liberality should be manifested towards settlers possessing capital, and a real intention of pursuing the same beneficial course of industry, whether they may be now resident in New South Wales, and capable of availing themselves of those advantages immediately, or whether they may be desirous of repairing thither from Great Britain.

Great as are the advantages that may reasonably be expected to be derived by persons who will embark in these enterprizes, and pursue them steadily, yet I feel convinced that in the first instance, they must be accompanied by great personal sacrifices, which will increase with the number of competitors in the same occupation, and with some outlay of capital and expenditure, the returns of which will be slow and distant.

In order to obtain the occupation of good tracts of land in the interior, for grazing sheep and cattle, it will be necessary for such persons to remove to a distance of not less than 120 or 150 miles from the sea coast. The cost of the transport of their wool will thus become heavy, and unless every encouragement be given to these enterprizes, either in the allowance of good labourers from amongst the convicts that arrive, and in a certain prospect that the importation of wool into Great Britain from New South Wales will not be raised for a period of ten years, at least, from its present trifling amount of one penny per pound, the sacrifice to which I have alluded will not be encountered, nor will that course of patient industry be entered upon, that can alone lead to extensive and beneficial results.

The improvement of his flocks has been found by Mr. M‘Arthur, even under circumstances of great local advantage (greater, probably, than can again occur in New South Wales, and during a period when no duty was imposed), to be a work that requires both time and experience. The losses occasioned by the carelessness of the convicts, even under the best superintendence, he has found to make heavy deductions from the annual increase of his flocks; it seems but reasonable, therefore, that some compensation should be made for the risks thus encountered, and that the expense incurred by the maintenance of the convicts should be relieved by the admission of the produce of their labour with as little incumbrance as possible from duties.

By the 59 Geo. III. c. 52, the present duty of 1d. per pound on wool imported direct from any British colony, is to be raised to 3d. after the 5th January 1823, and to 6d. after the 5th January 1826. The expenses of freight of wool by the direct voyage from New South Wales to Great Britain have been reduced from 4½d. to 3d. per pound; and with the expenses of carriage from the interior of New South Wales to the port of embarkation, and those of sorting and packing, together with the expense of insurance and custom house charges, commission and brokerage in the port of London, are estimated to amount to 6½d. per pound, forming a total charge of 9½d. per pound on wool brought from the colony to the London market. The quantity of wool imported from New South Wales into England in the year 1819, amounted to 71,299 pounds; in the year 1820 to 112,616 pounds; and in the year 1821 to 175,433 pounds. From the public sales that took place of the wool imported in the last year, and the beginning of the present, it appears that one bale containing the best wool of Mr. M‘Arthur's flocks, told as high as 10s. 4d. per pound, and two at 5s. 6d. per pound, but that out of 326 other bales, that were imported at the same time, 223 sold at prices varying from 1s. 2½d. per pound to 2s. inclusive; 84 bales sold from 2s. to 3s. per pound, and 19 bales sold from 3s. to 4s. At the last sale of 217 bales of wool imported from Van Dieman's Land and New South Wales, 108 bales sold from 7d. to 1s. per pound; 101 bales from 1s. to 2s.; six at 2s. 1d. and two at 2s. 2d.

From the present state of the flocks in New South Wales, and of those in Van Dieman's Land, from the want of capital and intelligence that prevails amongst the greatest number of the proprietors of sheep, and the general disposition that I have observed amongst them, to devote themselves to pursuits that promise a limited but quick return, rather than to those that require time and perseverance, the number of the fine woolled sheep in the colony cannot be expected to increase with rapidity; so that if the duty of 3d. per pound should meet the importations of next year, it is to be feared; that the efforts of those who are new endeavouring to improve their fleeces, and who are beginning to procure to themselves and to the colony the benefit of a valuable export, will be materially checked, and the advantages arising to government from an extended employment of the convicts will be greatly reduced. These advantages are easily calculated, by referring to the estimated annual cost of every convict in the employment of government, without including that of superintendence.

Taking that cost to amount to an annual sum of 24l. 14s. for each convict, the employment of two thousand convicts by individuals, would produce an annual saving to government of 49,400l. In every point therefore, in which those means of employment are viewed, whether with reference to the reformation of the convicts themselves, the saving of expense to government, or the production of valuable articles of export, I conceive that the reduction of the duties that I have proposed on the importation into Great Britain of the wood, and the continuance of the present low duty on the wool of New South Wales, are absolutely necessary for the preparation and production of those commodities, and for encouraging the settlers to have recourse to some other sources of industry than those from which they have hitherto been able to derive subsistence.

Your Lordship will perceive that in recommending these employments for the convicts that are either now in the settled districts of New South Wales or Van Dieman's Land, I have kept in view, as far as was possible, the separation of the convicts, that your Lordship's instructions prescribed, from the mass of the population; and with a view to meet the present evils of a redundant supply of labourers, and the demands of the settlers for those accustomed to agricultural pursuits, I should recommend that those who are now assigned, and that are the least useful to their masters, or have been guilty of any misconduct, should as soon as possible be withdrawn, and that with those of bad character, who in future may arrive, and whose offences have been accompanied by any peculiar circumstances of cruelty and depravity, or who have manifested inveterate habits of criminality, should be sent to one or more of the settlements that I mean to propose, upon the northern coasts of New South Wales.

The settled districts of the colony, or those immediately adjoining, therefore, I should consider as providing employment for the convicts of the best character and capacity for agricultural labour, but as buildings are yet required by government, both at Sydney and Paramatta, that will afford occupation to a certain number of mechanics for the next two years, I should recommend that a number, not exceeding four hundred at Sydney, and one hundred at Paramatta, should be retained and lodged in the convict barracks at each place, and should be continued to be employed in the various works that are now pursued in the lumber yard and dock yard. When these buildings are completed, I should then recommend that no more mechanics or convicts be retained in the employment of government at any of the stations, or at Emu Plains, and that if at any future time it may be considered necessary to retain them, the same reference to good character, that I have hitherto recommended in the selection of labourers for the settlers, should always prevail in the selection of mechanics for government. I have preferred this mode of constructing the buildings that are yet required, because I consider that the separation of the mechanics from the rest of the population, when they are not too numerous for superintendence and inspection, or for the accommodation that is afforded by the barracks, is more attainable than by the assignment of them to individuals, who might contract for the performance of the work.

In the hospitals and in the service of the commissariat at Sydney, it will be necessary to retain a certain number of convicts, who in conformity to the principle already laid down, as well as to the statements that I have already submitted respecting this class of convicts, should be more carefully selected than any others.

The convicts of advanced age, and boys under the age of sixteen, I should recommend to be retained at Sydney the former to be employed in light work, about the dock yard and in the convict barrack, and the latter to be entirely, confined to time building called the carters barrack, in which it will be found practicable, to instruct them in trades, and afterwards to assign them to the service of settlers. A school may be established for them in the same place, and they may be prevented from mixing with the population of the town of Sydney, by confining them strictly to the carter's barrack, and to the convict garden near Hyde Park in their hours of exercise.

By thus withdrawing a great number of convicts from the settled districts, leaving there as many of those of good character as may be required by the settlers, a very large proportion, amounting at present to not less than four thousand, will be left for employment in other parts of the colony.

To meet your Lordship's views upon this subject, and to effect an entire separation of this body of convicts from the mass of the population, I recommend that settlements should be formed at Moreton Bay, at Port Curtis, and Port Bowen.

I recommend that this direction should be taken, in forming the future settlements; rather than one to the south, as from the information that I received of the character and surface of the country, as well as the want of good harbours on the coast, from the entrance of Bass's Straits to Port Jackson, I am disposed to believe that no settlement could be made there, without great risk, or with any hope of deriving benefit from the labour of the convicts. Another objection also arises, from that part of the coast being frequented by the colonial vessels that are obliged to anchor upon it on their passages to and from Van Dieman's Land, and by vessels that are pursuing their course to Port Jackson.

Your Lordship is aware that Port Macquarrie is already occupied, but as I do not consider that it is sufficiently distant from the other settlements to prevent the attempts at escape, that are already so frequent at Port Hunter, and that the appropriation of that place to the sole purposes of penal restraint and discipline would prevent the colonization of the fine country that lies on the banks of the River Hastings, or those of Hunter's River and the intervening tracts; I should recommend that three settlements should be made at the places I have now mentioned, or at any other that may be found more convenient between Port Macquarrie and the Southern Tropic, and that whichever of these three should be found on further examination to possess the fewest recommendations of soil, and to be the least accessible to ships, should be destined for the convicts sentenced to punishment by the magistrates of either the older and settled districts of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, or of the two new settlements that are destined to receive the convicts. on their future arrival from England. I regret that my information respecting all of the Three places that I have mentioned, is very limited. The nature of my occupations, and of my inquiry into the state of the present settlements, having precluded a personal investigation of them, and Mr. Oxley, who was the only person to whose report I could have trusted, having been entirely occupied in accompanying Inc on my expedition to Van Dieman's Land, and afterwards into the interior of the country to the south-west of Bathurst, and to Port Macquarrie, previous to the final determination of sending thither a detachment of troops and convicts.

I have, however, reason to believe, that no other harbours of any capacity exist in the same extent of coast, or that none are accessible to vessels of large tonnage, except those have mentioned.

Moreton Bay is situated in 27 deg. 30 min. south latitude, Port Curtis in 24 deg. and Port Bowen in 22 deg. 28 min. south latitude; and the distance from Moreton Bay to Port Macquarrie is 240 miles, and to Port Jackson 380 miles.

The anchorage in Port Bowen varies from a depth of three and three quarters to nine fathoms; and on the south side of the harbour from Cape Clinton there is good shelter for shipping. Water has been found at a little distance from the Cape, on the inside of which there is also a good beach for landing. The soil of the country towards the south-west is represented to be of a very good quality, and with these advantages, it is to be expected that the labour of the convicts, if well applied, may be made to produce sufficient grain for their own support.

The wood that has been observed at Port Bowen, consists of the varieties of the eucalyptus that are found in the southern settlements, and the species of pine that is distinguished by the name of Norfolk Island.

The employments that I should propose for the convicts at these settlements, are those that are strictly connected with the clearing and cultivation of land, as soon as the requisite buildings are constructed for the officers of the establishment, and for the security of the stores. An enumeration and estimate of these is to be found in the Appendix, as well as directions for the employment of the convicts.

In providing lodging for them at these, or indeed any other station in the country, I conceive that it is by no means necessary that government should incur any expense, except that of nails and tools, as the huts made of logs of wood, covered with the bark of the eucalyptus, are amply sufficient for all purposes of protection, and afford better means of separating the convicts than the barracks at Sydney and Paramatta.

The temperature of the climate of Port Bowen, which is nearer to the southern tropic than the other two settlements, will be found to be considerably warmer than that of Port Jackson; the thermometer, at noon, in the middle of the winter month of July, having been observed to range as high as 70°.

I do not conceive that this circumstance presents any objection to the settlements that I have proposed, as the ordinary effects of the same degrees of heat, upon European constitutions in other parts of the world, have not thitherto been experienced, and are not to be apprehended in New South Wales.

The labour of clearing land, and preparing it for the reception of maize, vegetables and the artificial grasses that may be found necessary for the support of cattle in so warm a climate, will afford constant and salutary occupation to the convicts; and I should propose, that those who are not so employed, may be distributed in parties for the purpose of cutting and preparing wood, for sale and use, in the settled districts.

Your Lordship will observe, that I have recommended the removal of the present settlement at Port Hunter, not on account of its not possessing within itself the character of a place of punishment, but on account of its not being sufficiently separated from a part of the country that must now be given up to purposes of colonization; and which, from its fertility, and from the circumstance of possessing a communication by water with Port Jackson, will rapidly attract the notice of new settlers.

I have considered that, in forming the new settlements, their contiguity to the sea coast was to be preferred to the removal of the convicts into the interior, on account of the greater facility of supply, and of the greater difficulties of escape.

With these objects in view, I was naturally led to inquire whether any of the islands in Bass's Straits, or upon the eastern coast of New South Wales, were calculated for the reception of convicts, without interfering with the fisheries that are carried on there. I regretted to learn, that since the access to Norfolk Island had been considered to be too perilous, no other island had been discovered that afforded the same advantages of soil and climate, or indeed any means of providing labour or support to a convict population.

Your Lordship will have observed, that the employment that I have proposed for the convicts that are in future to be allowed to remain in the settled districts of New South Wales or Van Dieman's Land, must necessarily be of a limited nature, and must altogether depend upon the greater or less demand for the services of the convicts, either in agriculture, or in the depasturing of sheep and cattle.

The retirement of the useless or unemployed convicts from the settled districts to those that are more remote, will, I conceive, tend greatly to diminish the difficulties of control over those that remain, and will afford that gradual prospect of amelioration in their condition, to the convicts so removed, that is essential to the purposes of their reform. In this view, a permission to a convict to remain in the settled districts, or to remove to them afterwards, from the newly established ones, must be considered in the light of a reward, either for previous good conduct, well attested in England, and during the passage, or for good conduct in the new establishments.

Removed as these will be from all contact with the settled districts, it will only remain for the commandants appointed to them, to enforce the same rigorous exclusion of trading vessels, and the same vigilance in detecting the importation of spirits, that has been found practicable at Port Hunter.

The weekly allowance of food to each convict should not exceed that of seven pounds of salt beef or mutton, or four pounds of salt pork, five pounds of wheaten flour, and five pounds of the flour of maize, and half a pound of sugar. Their dress should consist of striped cotton shirts, duck trowsers and frock, shoes and straw hat; and to those who are engaged in cutting wood, there should be provided trowsers made of the coarsest blanketing manufactured at Paramatta.

As it is proposed that the convicts should be lodged in huts constructed by themselves, the only bedding that will be required should consist of one rug and a palliass filled with fern straw.

The superintendence of the convicts, either in the settled districts or in the new establishments, I should recommend to be entirely changed.

Your Lordship will have seen, that although I have not been able to trace any positive corruption in the distribution of the convicts by William Hutchinson the principal superintendent, yet that the principle upon which the distribution has been professed to be made, and the necessity to which the free settlers have been compelled to submit in addressing themselves to him exclusively upon this subject, have given great and general dissatisfaction. The principle of selection by which I have proposed that this important branch of duty should in future be conducted, is certainly one that requires both more of deliberation and discrimination than the present superintendent has it in his power, even if he were willing, to bestow. I therefore recommend that the office of principal superintendent of convicts in New South Wales should be committed to the hands of a person who has never been convicted, with whom the magistrates of New South Wales will feel no objection to communicate upon all subjects relating to the convicts in their districts; and whose particular charge it should be to note all changes in the situation of the convicts that are allowed to remain in the settled districts; and above all, to enter in an alphabetical register of those names, all offences committed by them, with their dates.

To the same officer should also be addressed quarterly reports from the superintendents of the new establishments, of the conduct of the convicts sent thither, their occupations, and the quantity of labour performed; and when any application or recommendation for the removal of a convict from either of those establishments is made to the governor of New South Wales, means may exist in the hands of the superintendent of examining and submitting to the governor the pretensions and grounds upon which the recommendation of each particular case is founded. At each of the new establishments I also recommend that there should be appointed one superintendent of convicts with a suitable salary, and an allowance of a certain proportion of the profit that may be derived to government from the sale of all articles procured at those settlements and exported to Sydney. It would be very desirable that these persons should have a knowledge of agriculture, or the superintendence and employment of labourers of any description, so as to ensure an attention to agricultural operations, rather than to any other species of labour.

Your Lordship will, doubtless, have observed in the remarks that I have already made upon the character of the subordinate officers employed in the superintendence of the convicts, that no efficacious exercise of authority over them Is to be expected from persons who have only lately emerged from the same class, and stilt less from those that actually belong to it.

The system upon which the public works have been so long conducted in New South Wales is now so deeply interwoven with the interests of those overseen who have been engaged in the duty, that I should consider any selection of them either for the superintendence of the convicts in the labour of clearing and cutting wood, that I have proposed in the settled districts or in the new establishments, to be very unprofitable; and I should have great doubts whether the present overseers would be willing to proceed to the new settlements under any conditions. I should recommend, therefore, that for both these purposes, the plan that was submitted to me by Major Bell, the acting engineer at Hobart Town, should be adopted, and that non-commissioned officers and privates, either from the half pay of the corps: of royal artillery or engineers, should be sent from England to take upon them the duty of superintending the labour that is in future to be performed by the convicts.

The habits of discipline and regularity, and the knowledge of mechanics that are acquired by men of this description, qualify them in a peculiar manner, for the superintendence and management of the compulsory labour of convicts; and as an interest in the produce of that labour will be given to them, by an allowance of a certain proportion of the proceeds, their attention will be drawn to the means of augmenting the amount, and thus be diverted from schemes of profit, unconnected with their duty. It should be clearly understood by these persons, that they will not be allowed to derive any separate profit from the labour of a convict, or to have more than one assigned to them for purposes strictly domestic; but that as the purchase of animal foal will not be practicable in the new settlements to which they proceed, rations for themselves and wives will be allowed to be drawn from the king's store, not exceeding the ration already recommended for the convicts. No larger quantity of land must be allowed them than is sufficient for a garden, otherwise there will be a perpetual inducement to them to employ the convicts in raising articles of consumption for their own exclusive profit, instead of exacting all their labour for that of government.

The employment, lodging, and superintendence of the male convicts at these stations, being thus disposed of, it is necessary to state the regulations by which tho female convicts are in future to be employed.

I should recommend that the assignment of the female convicts, on their first it arrival, should be regulated by the colonial secretary and the superintendent of convicts, but that all applications for female convicts should be addressed to the former; and when they are made by settlers living in the country, the applications should, in the first instance, be transmitted to the magistrates of the districts, describing the qualifications of the servants that are required.

Presuming always, that the same information shall be transmitted respecting the female convicts, that has been recommended in the cases of the male convicts, it is an object of great importance to the colony, as well as to the females themselves, that the selection and distribution of them should, as far as possible, proceed upon the same principles; and it will then be both reasonable and just, that the covenants of the indenture that are now entered into by the parties to whom female convicts are assigned should be strictly enforced.

Those female convicts that are not assigned from the ship should be sent from Sydney to Paramatta; and as greater care and precaution are necessary in this transfer than can be expected from a constable, I conceive it to be absolutely requisite that the superintendent of the factory at Paramatta should repair to Sydney, on the day of debarkation, and should accompany the female convicts from thence to the place of their destination.

All the precautions that I have already recommended in preventing access to the ships in the period after arrival and debarkation, are doubly necessary in the case of a female convict ship; as well as those by which their property and dress may hereafter be secured for their benefit, and prevented from affording the means of present indulgence. And here I think it necessary to repeat, that the female convicts should be required to appear and land from the ship in the dresses that are provided for them by the Navy Board, and should be required to repair to their destined places of servitude, in those dresses and in no others.

The indulgence that has hitherto been granted to female convicts, to join their husbands on their arrival, is perhaps productive of benefit, under the present system of convict management in New South Wales; but it certainly tends to weaken the effect of transportation, and to form a new and additional motive for the commission of crime. Hard as it may appear, therefore, I conceive it to be absolutely necessary to prohibit the continuance of the practice, and at the same time to place such female convicts as have husbands in the colony, and who are either emancipated or suffering under sentences of transportation, out of the reach of any improper temptation, but still in a state of penal confinement. I accordingly recommend that they should be sent to the factory at Paramatta, and that nothing but proofs of their good conduct there, should be considered as giving them a claim to release.

The management of the female convicts in the factory at Paramatta, is a duty for which I do not conceive there is any person now in New South Wales who is duly qualified; and it is of the first importance to the colony, as well as to the future success of that establishment, that a superintendent who has been familiar with the details of management either in a factory or a gaol, should be appointed to the situation. A married woman would in my opinion be more competent to the duty than a married man, and she should be assisted by a deputy superintendent, who, with his family, should reside in one of the apartments already described, in the outer yard of the new building. A house situated at a little distance from the present entrance to the factory, and commanding a view of it, should be provided for the female superintendent, and to her should be committed the management and direction of the whole establishment.

It should be a principal object to separate at all times, and in all duties, the women who are placed in the factory for punishment, and those who are placed there on arrival from England; and for the accomplishment of this object no considers. Cons of architectural ornament, in the present state of the new building, should be allowed to interfere with the alterations which will certainly be necessary. I should recommend, therefore, that a complete separation should be made of the vacant spaces now left on either side of the principal building, and that in one of them a long range of sleeping rooms on the ground floor should be constructed on the inside of the wall that incloses the whole; the wall being first raised from its present height of 10 to 13 feet. A range of work-rooms should also be constructed, in the scene manner, and in the same spaces; and the entire separation of the female convicts placed in the factory for punishment, from those placed there for work and confinement, will thus be effected, and more ample accommodation will be afforded to the females of that class.

The present employment given to the females, of picking, carding and spinning wool, may be advantageously continued; and to this employment may be added, the making of linen and calico shirts, and straw hats, for the male convicts who are to be employed at the distant settlements, and the spinning of flax that will be grown there, for the purpose of being manufactured into canvas for jackets and trowsers.

The future assignment of the females to settlers and others, must be left to the joint discretion of the resident magistrates at Paramatta, and the female superintendent of the factory; but in the performance of this important duty, both as it regards the male as well as the female convicts, no consideration of the services of the individual being required for the purposes of government, nor of relief to it, from the charge of maintenance, should be allowed to interfere with the paramount considerations of merit and demerit, or to constitute a claim, independent of those considerations, for enlargement.

The control of the male convicts that may either continue in the service of settlers in the settled districts, or that may in future be assigned to them, must be left to the superintendence of the magistrates and officers of police; but as I do not consider it necessary to enter at present upon the detail of those measures that I recommend for their improvement, or the better performance of their duties, I shall only observe, that the present regulation by which convict labourers are allowed to claim annual wages, seems to me to be inconsistent with that state of servitude which, as convicted criminals, they are bound to endure.

From the opinion of His Majesty's attorney and solicitor-general, that was transmitted by your Lordship to Governor Macquarrie, it appears that this state of servitude is created by the provisions of the statute of the 4th Geo. c. 11, and subsequent statutes, by all of which a property in the service of the convict, is reserved to the person to whom he shall have been assigned. The condition of the convict is therefore considered to be that of servitude, liable indeed to the regulations or the will of the master, but subject always in their exercise to the rules of humanity, in protecting the convict from cruelty or bodily harm. Your Lordship will observe, that the power of punishing any neglect of work in the convict, remains as an inference only, from the right that the assignee obtains in his services; and it will be for your Lordship to determine, whether the punishment of an offence so frequent as that of neglect of work in the convicts, or of insolence and resistance to the overseers, either in the service of government, or in that of individual settlers, should not be placed upon some more defined basis.

The payment of wages to the convicts in the service of settlers has now been sanctioned by a custom of several years continuance; but it was the subject of much complaint, as it leaves no option to the settler in requiting the service of an expert or an useless convict, and as the larger proportion of those assigned to the settlers has consisted of the latter description.

When it becomes a duty, as I humbly presume it is, in the local government of New South Wales, to endeavour, as far as possible, to accommodate and to meet the views of the settlers, in the assignment to them of the particular convicts that they Want, the cause of complaint that I have stated will be much removed, and I think that a disposition will generally prevail amongst them to continue the present regulation of giving a certain amount of wages to their convict servants. I still however am of opinion, that any regulation by which a fixed sum is appointed or required to be given as a remuneration for services that are in their nature uncertain, and that cannot be exchanged or dispensed with in a less term than one year, has a tendency to relax the exertions of the convict, and make him indifferent about the quantum of reward. It has been the custom of many of the higher class of settlers to give task-work to some of their convicts, and to pay them at the same rate as free labourers; and in this mode of employment they have found their advantage, while by the mode of payment in what is termed property, the real price of the labour has been much reduced. I consider, however, that it is much more consistent with the notion of punishment, as well as reform, that no other claim of a convict to remuneration, should exist or be recognized than that of good conduct and industry; and that the only claim he should be known to possess upon his master, should be a certain quantity of food, clothing and lodging.

With this view, I recommend, that in future all claim to wages on the part of the convict should be abolished, and that the master should only be required to furnish a regulated amount of clothing and food; the former, consisting of two full suits of slops, with two additional pairs of shoes to stock-keepers in the year, with a rug and palliass; and the latter, consisting of a weekly allowance of seven pounds of fresh or salt beef, or four pounds of salt pork, six pounds of wheaten flour, four pounds of maize flour, and half a pound of sugar. Occasional allowances of soap, and the repairs of clothes, should be included in this allowance; but all the present indulgences that are given, of tobacco and tea, should be considered as entirely dependent upon the extraordinary exertions or the good conduct of the convict. The same regulations should take place respecting the wages of the female convicts; and in cases where it may be necessary to limit their allowance of food, it should consist of two-thirds of that which has been assigned to the male convicts. The best security for the due enforcement of the regulations, and for the protection of the convicts against oppression, will be found in the encouragement that may be given in England to settlers of respectability, to transfer their capital and families to New South Wales, in preventing convicts from prematurely assuming the character of proprietors and masters, and from the discrimination and vigilance of the chief local authority.

It now only remains for me to submit to your Lordship the nature of the regulations that may be most expedient for effecting a reform in the convicts by a mitigation of their terms of punishment. It has generally been considered, that the declaration contained in the government order issued by Governor Macquarrie on the 9th January 1813, by which certain terms of service were fixed as preliminary conditions of remission or indulgence, has had the effect of raising expectations in the convicts that at the lapse of those terms the remissions would be granted, or at least, that they might be always demanded. This feeling has been found to interfere with the habits of dependence and restraint that is of importance to maintain during the first period of probationary servitude of a convict, and to induce a belief that there was no crime, however great or atrocious, that could not be atoned by a service of three years. I conceive, however, that no general declaration upon the extent of the term, is necessary or consistent with the considerations that must guide the governors of New South Wales, in the exercise of this branch of their authority. The claim of a convict for mitigation of a sentence of seven years duration, at the expiration of three, is evidently stronger than that of a convict transported for 14 years, or for life; but by the regulation in question they are all placed upon the same footing, as to the first indulgence of a ticket of leave.

The regulation respecting the term for applying for conditional pardons is equally objectionable, as a convict transported for 14 years is not considered to have a title to apply, until he has resided nine years and four months of that time in the colony, whereas the term allowed for a convict transported for life, to obtain the same indulgence, is only ten years. I should therefore recommend, that in future no precise term should be understood to prevail respecting any mitigations of sentences; but that the applications that are made for them, should give a more detailed statement of the pretensions of each applicant, and that the magistrates should either be required to certify, that the party has not been convicted of any offence before them, within the period of his service, or if he has, that it should be stated with the date of the sentence and punishment inflicted. I conceive also, that a much more convenient mode of receiving applications for these remissions of sentences may be adopted by the governor of the colony of New South Wales, than that. which at present exists. The confusion that arises from limiting the applications to one day in the year, both in the consideration of the petitions, and in the collection of so many impatient and anxious individuals in one place, and especially in the town of Sydney, is an evil not lea felt by the governor, who has to deliberate upon the petitions, than by the applicants themselves. It will be found much more conducive to the convenience of both, to receive all future applications of this nature in the particular districts in which the parties reside at the time, or in which it is most probable that they have previously resided, and in which therefore there is the best chance of their characters and conduct being known.

In receiving the applications, the governor may receive great assistance from the presence of the magistrates and chaplain of the district, and he may have an opportunity that he cannot have when alone, of establishing the truth of the statements submitted to him, by the verbal representations of the magistrates and the chief constables of the districts, who should be enjoined to keep registers or every convict in their district, and to produce these registers before the governor on the day appointed for receiving applications. The magistrates will then be more cautious than they are at present, of giving testimonials in favour of persons with whom they are slightly acquainted, and they will be called upon to justify the grounds upon which they have given them. It should be always understood, that the best recommendation for the indulgence of a ticket of leave, is continued good conduct in the service of the same master. It should further be known and understood, that the marriage of a convict with a female convict, or with a native-born woman, furnishes no claim to a ticket of leave, unless there has been a previous service of four years at least, and recommendation of good conduct, together with the means of future support.

Your Lordship has already seen the consequences, that arise from giving tickets or leave, on their arrival in New South Wales, to persons who are able to support themselves, and of allowing convicts to be assigned to superintendents and overseers in remuneration of their services. I believe that there is only one opinion in New South Wales upon the inexpediency of these practices; and I submit, that no considerations of relief to the government, from the charge of supporting a convict, be his condition what it may, no recommendation from any other person than your Lordship, or from His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department, should be considered an authority to the governor of New South Wales, or the lieutenant-governor of Van Dieman's Land, to bestow a ticket of leave upon any convict immediately after his arrival.

The practice of assigning convicts to magistrates, clerks and overseers, as remuneration of their services, may be continued to the former, with an understanding that they are to be employed either upon the estate of the magistrate, or as his domestic servants; but they ought not to be allowed to any other officer whatever in the settled district; and only to the superintendents and overseers in the new establishments, upon the condition that I have before described.

It has appeared to me, that if the indulgence of tickets of leave was granted, as I presume it should, as the reward of good conduct alone, it would much promote that object, if the names of the parties so rewarded were published in the colonial gazette. The attention and notice of the settlers would then be drawn to the most deserving individuals, and the influence of public opinion might be brought in aid mud confirmation of the rewards of individual merit.

The same remark equally applies to all the subsequent and larger indulgences of conditional and absolute pardons.

Having adverted to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on transportation, respecting the check upon the power of the governor of New South Wales in granting remissions of sentences, as well as to the observations of Governor Macquarrie in reply, I feel myself compelled to differ from the reasons alleged by the governor, in his dispatch to your Lordship, for not strictly complying with the recommendation of the Committee. It appears to me, that the deductions that may occur in the course of six months or more, in the list of tickets of leave granted, can furnish no reason for not transmitting such list, not only to your Lordship, but to His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department, by the first opportunity that may occur, after the list has been published. This list should not only contain the names of the convicts rewarded with tickets of leave, but the name of the ship in which they arrived, the date and place, and term of their sentence, the date of their arrival in the colony, the date of the ticket of leave, the name of the person by whom they were recommended, and the grounds of recommendation, accompanied with such remarks as may occur, especially including the fact of the ticket of leave having been withdrawn for misconduct, since the time of granting it.

From reference to the considerations that have hitherto governed the issue of tickets of leave, I feel it my duty to press most strongly upon your Lordship's attention, the importance of requiring a scrupulous observance of this regulation, both from the governor of New South Wales, and the lieutenant-governor of Van Dieman's Land.

A discretion must necessarily be reposed in these officers for the honourable and faithful exercise of this important duty; but I consider that nothing should be held to absolve them from furnishing to your Lordship the most ample and regular means of judging, whether the power has been judiciously exercised, and whether the exceptions they have deemed it expedient to admit, have been justifiable in themselves, or beneficial in their consequences.

I conceive that the indulgence of a ticket of leave affords such a wholesome restraint upon the conduct of a convict, that a longer duration may be given to that condition, than Governor Macquarrie has thought expedient.

Your Lordship will already have observed, that the punishment of transportation is not sensibly felt by convicts transported for seven years, unless the whole of that term be considered as one of penal restraint. This mode of treating, convicts of this class, will produce an inequality in their condition in the colony, which is not justified by a simple reference to the nature of their crimes, or a comparison with those of others. If, however, it be considered expedient to continue the transportation of offenders to New South Wales, for so short a term as that of seven years (of which, with the exception of persons long habituated to crime, I conceive that there are great doubts) this inequality of punishment will be necessary, to render it effectual; and it will then become more necessary that all circumstances in the cases of such convicts, that may afford a ground of remission of their sentences, should be stated with great particularity; and that without such circumstances, the indulgence of a ticket of leave should be altogether withheld.

Having already described the beneficial effects of a ticket of leave, I will not now repeat than; but I think it right to suggest, that when they are considered strictly as the rewards of good conduct, those effects are much impaired, and their value lessened, by the continuance of one of the contingencies to which they are now made liable. The recal of a well conducted mechanic, holding a ticket of leave, to government labour, merely on account of his valuable services, confounds and defeats all notions of reward for good conduct; and as a power so prejudicial to that object ought not to be exercised by the government, I conceive that it should be abolished, and that the magistrates should be instructed, in the first place, to make regular and immediate returns to the governor of all tickets of leave that they order to be withdrawn, with a statement of the circumstances that have justified it. Good behaviour should be distinctly understood to be the tenure upon which a ticket of leave is held; and the magistrates should be authorized to consider, as Lieut. governor Sorrell has done, that an exorbitant demand for labour, by a ticket of leave man, is one reason, amongst others, for withdrawing it. The convict, however, against whom any sentence has been pronounced by the magistrates, by which his ticket of leave is either withdrawn or suspended, should be considered to have a right of appealing to the governor against it.

Your Lordship will have observed that instances have occurred in which convicts holding tickets of leave have held and purchased land in New South Wales, and that they have been admitted to maintain actions in the courts of justice, although in strictness of law, they are disabled from so doing, by reason of their conviction, while they cannot allege that disability in bar of an action brought against them. These circumstances are certainly not favourable to the acquirement of property, by ticket of leave men; but I do not conceive it to be necessary in the present state of the colony, to encourage this class of convicts to acquire it more expeditiously than they are disposed to do, or to assume any other relation than that of tenants, if they cultivate land, or in that of labourers working for their own profit.

I cannot recommend, therefore, that the legal disabilities of conviction should be removed from this class; and I think that from the experience of the past their equitable right to maintain actions may fairly be left as it hitherto has been, to the discretion of the courts of justice.

Respecting the manner of receiving applications for conditional and absolute remissions of sentence; the same regulations should be understood to apply to them as to the species of indulgence just now adverted to.

The magistrates and chaplains have hitherto been enjoined to grant their certificates in favour of those convicts only whom they know to be "honest, sober, and industrious".

As the declaration of a principle by which the governor intended to guide himself in the exercise of the great power of pardoning or mitigating sentences, and as a general rule for the magistrates and chaplains in recommending convicts as fit objects of his favours, this injunction might be proper; but I hardly conceive that a compliance with it was practicable. The best conducted men would naturally be the least known to the magistrates; and the knowledge acquired by the chaplains of the different convicts, assigned to settlers in the districts, was too limited to afford them any means of forming a judgment of their conduct. It is, however, practicable at all times for the magistrates, by observing that their clerks make regular and correct entries of the proceedings before them, to certify whether an applicant for any indulgence has been convicted or not; and this information they should be required to give. The governor will then have to decide whether the offence has been of sufficient importance to make it a ground of denial or postponement of indulgence; and when it is distinctly understood in the colony, that conviction before the magistrates forms an impediment to a remission of sentence, the convicts will be more careful in giving subject of complaint.

The term assigned by Governor Macquarrie, for negativing applications for conditional and absolute pardons to convicts transported for fourteen years, is more justly proportioned to the length of their sentences than those of other classes.

I do not, however, conceive that any declaration is necessary upon the subject; and think the rejection of applications, on the ground of their being premature, will of itself demonstrate the opinions of the governor; and by degrees produce a greater conformity to them than the declaration of a rule which it has been so often Sound expedient to disregard.

As it is of the utmost consequence to maintain the value of these rewards, I conceive that the mere personal exertions of an individual, without reference to his moral conduct, should never be considered to constitute a sufficient ground for bestowing them.

In this point of view the emancipations that I have already alluded to, and that were given for the loan of carts and horses, either for the accommodation of the governor, or for the formation of a road, were equally objectionable; and the public services for which these rewards were given, were not of that urgent or important nature to require or sanction any such sacrifice.

The governors of New South Wales are directed by their instructions to give grants of land to such deserving and industrious convicts as have received emancipations, and have been discharged from servitude on that account. The manner of receiving applications for this indulgence is very much the same as that which has been described in the distributions of remissions of sentence, and the same suspensions of applications for laud have taken place, founded always upon the number of grants of land that have been made in preceding years.

The applications, after receiving the signature of the chaplains and magistrates of the districts, are delivered to the governor on one day in the year.

I was present upon one occasion of this kind, when, from the number of these applicants, consisting of every rank and condition, and their eagerness to offer their petitions, great confusion and some violence took place. The governor read the petitions in the presence of the parties, and sometimes referred to Mr. Meehan, the deputy surveyor general, who attended. Mr. Oxley, the surveyor general, was not present; and upon my expressing surprise at this circumstance, he informed me, that no reference had ever been made to him by Governor Macquarrie, upon the petitions for land, nor had his advice ever been requested or taken upon them.

I have already described the number and character of the emancipated convicts that now hold laud in New South Wales, and it appears to me that the system that has hitherto been pursued, of granting 30 acres of land to emancipated convicts, without reference to their means of cultivation, is not attended with the beneficial results that were expected from it. They have, in many instances, been disposed of, to obtain relief from pressing necessities, occasioned either by unfavourable seasons, bad soil, or the effects of dissipation and indulgence and Governor Macquarrie felt assured, that many of the applicants that appeared before him, on the occasion to which I have just now alluded, had alienated by private and previous sales, all right to the land for which they were applying.

A rule had been promulgated by him, at an early period, and it forms a condition of every grant, that it shall not be disposed of or alienated within five years. This rule, however, has been violated by persons of every class in the colony; amongst whom I regretted to find were the surveyor and deputy surveyor of the colony.

The occupation of the land in these cases is transferred to the purchaser; and a bond is entered into by the seller to deliver the grant to him at the expiration of the term of five years. The small grants have by these means fallen into the hands of the capitalists at Sydney, who have obtained them at a very low rate, not exceeding 5s. an acre.

The indulgences, likewise, that accompany these grants, consisting either of cattle from the government herds, or of convicts assigned and victualled by the crown, have in some instances been greatly abused. They have latterly been more sparingly granted; and not until the grantee of the land had actually repaired to his allotment and made some progress in its cultivation.

Considering the general quality of the land of New South Wales, it is not to be expected that an emancipated convict, without capital or means of cultivation, can so manage an allotment of 30 acres of land, as to derive subsistence or profit from it.

The little success that has attended any of the settlements made by this class of persons at a distance from the towns or markets, shows the impolicy of continuing to place them in such situations. I should therefore recommend that no grants of land exceeding to acres in extent, should be given to remitted convicts, or to those whose term of sentence had expired, unless they could satisfactorily prove that they were possessed of capital amounting to not less than 20l. either in stock or implements; and that the same restriction upon the allowance of convict labour and subsistence that Governor Macquarrie has introduced, should, in all cases, be continued. At present, the allowance is limited to the period of six months, which is considered by many persons to be too short for affording any real assistance to a convict, who has to clear the land of trees before he can derive any assistance from it. I therefore recommend that the period should be extended to twelve months. I should farther recommend that no encouragement should be given to any persons of this class that are not mechanics, and do not possess capital, to settle in the more remote districts of the colony; but that tracts of good land, and not exceeding to acres, in the neighbourhood of the towns, should be reserved for them. Their produce will be thus more easily and advantageously disposed of, and their industry will be more readily excited by the demand for labour, that the neighbourhood and wants of a town never fail to create.

The lower class of remitted convicts, and those whose terms of service are expired, will thus become resident labourers, rather than settlers, and their hope of future success will be more directed to their own industry and exertion, than to the early disposal and abuse of the indulgences of the crown.

The inquiries into the merits and situation of these persons may be made, and their claims to indulgence may be investigated in the same manner as those recommended for remissions of sentence; and I will only observe, that an inflexible adherence to the rule that requires the certificate of a magistrate and a chaplain, for applications of this sort, may lead to an unfair denial of the pretensions of a party, whose previous occupations had taken, as well as kept him, out of the reach of their notice, and who, in other respects, may be well entitled to an indulgence.

I have already submitted to your Lordship the nature and extent of the disabilities to which the remitted convicts in New South Wales, as well as those that return to this country, remain liable, until the remissions of sentence bestowed upon them by the governors of the colony, are confirmed by their being inserted in general pardons under the great seal. That which affects the right of maintaining actions in the courts of justice in New South Wales will be more fully considered when the judicial establishments of the colony are examined, but I will now only observe, that it is a right that is so essentially necessary to the enjoyment of property, that if it should be considered good policy to give grants of land to convicts on receiving remissions of sentence, or to encourage them to acquire property in other ways; the enjoyment of that right, ought not to be allowed to depend upon any exercise of judicial discretion.

Respecting the property of attainted convicts, your Lordship will have observed, that except in cases of murder and treason, it is now inheritable by their children. The right of maintaining actions for the recovery of such property, as well as the right of dominion over it during their life-time, should accompany the remissions of sentence by the governors or lieutenant-governors; and in case of alienation, transfer or mortgage, no other restriction should be imposed, than that of obtaining the permission of the surveyor-general of the colony; without which, all such acts on the part of remitted convicts, as well as of the expirees, should be declared to be absolutely null and void.

I have already submitted grounds by which your Lordship will be able to form a judgment, both with respect to the past and future exercise of the power of granting remissions of sentence; and I will now offer to your Lordship's notice such regulations as appear to me to be advisable to secure the benefits that were intended by them.

The governors and lieutenant-governors of the colony should be enjoined to examine, with great particularity, the merits of those convicts to whom they grant remissions; and to transmit their names, and length of sentences, their service in the colony, and the names of the persons by whom they are recommended, by the earliest opportunity to your Lordship. The pardon or remission of sentences so given by the governor of New South Wales, should be declared by legislative authority to confer, immediately, all the rights that a pardon under the great seal would give, as long as the party holding it remains in the territory and jurisdiction of New South Wales, and conforms to the condition of the pardon; a power being always reserved to the crown to revoke such pardons, and if not revoked within two years from the date, the pardons to be considered as confirmed.

It should also be declared, that the effect of the governor's pardon should not extend to any interest or property of a remitted convict, that accrues to him out of the territory of New South Wales and its dependencies, and that when he leaves it, he should be placed in no other situation, than in that of a person holding a sign manual pardon.

This difference in favour of the territory will dispose the remitted convicts, who are generally those that have been transported for life, to prefer it as their future home, and to abandon all wish to return to En land; a disposition, the importance of encouraging which, I have already adverted to.

In any legislative declaration that may be made upon this subject, it will be expedient to notice the situation of those convicts that have been transported for certain terms, and for felonies that are not within the provisions of the 4 Geo. I. c. 11, and at the same time to declare, that all the benefits of that Act are extended to them. The rights of those convicts, that are now imperfect, will thus be completed by legislative authority, and I have no doubt that their jealousy of that discretion, by which it has appeared to them that their rights were affected, will speedily subside.

In proportion, however, as the benefits of a state of freedom are imparted to a large a portion of the inhabitants of New South Wales, I cannot contemplate their character, or the possible abuse that they may make of such privileges, without submitting to your Lordship the expediency of providing against the consequences of both, by conferring upon the governors of the colony, or lieutenant-governors, the power of compelling any person to leave it, that has been once in the condition of a Convict, where it shall appear that such a determination is necessary for the public security and tranquillity; the responsibility for this exercise of power, always resting with the governor; and time, as well as permission being given to the party removed, to dispose of his property.

Respecting the admission of these persons to society, there is reason to apprehend, that however desirable it may be to hold out encouragement to the convicts to reform, by conferring upon them distinctions that imply an entire oblivion of their former transgressions, and a re-integration of all social and civil rights, yet, that it is now impracticable, to unite other men in giving effect to this encouragement, without appearing to violate the independent exercise of their own judgment.

Without presuming to lay down any rule for the conduct of the present or future governor, I conceive it to be desirable that his efforts to introduce persons who have been convicts to society, should be regulated by a more strict conformity, than Governor Macquarrie has shown, to the tenor of your Lordship's instructions.

The influence of the governor's example should be limited to those occasions alone, when his notice of the emancipated convicts cannot give offence to the feelings of others, or to persons whose objections to associate with them are known. The introduction of them on public occasions should in my opinion be discontinued; and when it is known that they have been so far noticed by the governor of New South Wales, as to be admitted to his Private table and society, the benefit of the governor's example may be expected to operate; and it will also be exempt from the fatal suspicion of any exercise of his authority.

I have thus, my Lord, endeavoured to point out to your Lordship, in the first part of my observations, the circumstances that appeared to me to have diminished the effect of the punishment of transportation in New South Wales, with such remarks upon the conduct of the persons engaged in it as your Lordship's instructions seemed to me to require. In the performance of this duty, I conceived it to be as consonant to your Lordship's wishes to add to the information that you already possessed upon these subjects, as to endeavour to correct the representations that from time to time had reached you. After concluding this statement, it became my duty to submit to your Lordship the measures by which I have considered that the effect of the punishment of transportation might be restored and preserved, both in the settled districts and in those that I have recommended for the future employment of the convicts.

I have omitted for the present any mention of the measures of police that may be advisable either in the old or the new settlements, as I conceive that they will be better understood by reserving there until I come to the mention of that particular branch of my subject.

It has appeared to me that by removing the settlements destined for the reception of convicts transported for long terms, and for offences of a capital nature, from all contact with those that are mow settled or likely to become so; a salutary distinction may be made between the different degrees of crime, and that the hardships of restraint, of privation of comforts, of severe labour, and of restricted food, may be made compatible with the benefits of present cultivation, and of future colonization.

It will depend entirely upon the governor of New South Wales, and the commandants of the different settlements, to maintain that just degree of severity and rigour by which alone the punishment of transportation may be made a subject of dread, even to the worst offenders; and to refuse, with unrelenting sternness, all applications that may have the effect of producing inequalities in it.

The extent of country now unoccupied in the districts in which the intended settlements are to be made, will afford opportunities of gradually removing the convicts from the evils of too near or too frequent association with each other, and of separating those whose habits of criminality are confirmed.

At the expiration of terms of service, bearing reference to the length of the sentences, and always to their good conduct in those settlements; I think that the convicts thus inured to labour and to restraint, will have a greater chance of becoming useful labourers, on their return to the settled districts, than if they were allowed, as they hitherto have been, to partake immediately of indulgences that are quite inconsistent with a date of punishment or reform. Upon their return to these districts, they should first be assigned to the settlers; and after continuing in their service for some time (the duration of the period of service bearing reference to the extent of their punishment, combined with a consideration of their good conduct) tickets of leave should be granted to them. After a successful exertion of their industry in this condition, grants of land, under the limitations I have had the honour of submitting to your Lordship, may be made to them on receiving their remissions of sentence.

With these observations I beg leave most respectfully to conclude my Report upon the first article of instruction with which I was furnished.


6 May 1822            

To The Right Honourable
   The Earl Bathurst, K. G.
         &c. &c. &c.



(1.)—Estimate of Expenses attending the New Settlements at Moreton Bay, Port Bowen and Port Curteis.

(2.)—Estimate of the Cost of the proposed Buildings at Port Bowen.

(3.)—Estimate of the Cost of the proposed Buildings at the New Settlement at Port Curteis.

(4.)—Estimate of the annual Expenses of a Settlement at Moreton Bay, for the purpose of receiving Convicts.

(5.)—Estimate of the Cost of Buildings required for the Establishment at Moreton Bay.

(6.)—Estimate of the produce of the labour of three thousand Convicts at Port Bowen.

(7.)—Directions and Regulations for the conduct of the New Settlements at Moreton Bay, &c.



ESTIMATE of Expenses attending the New Settlements at Moreton Bay, Port Bowen, and Port Curteis.

| £. s. d.
Annual pay of two government vessels, employed to keep up the
  communication between the new Settlements and Sydney
Estimate of annual expenses at the Settlement of PORT BOWEN, and
calculated for Three Thousand Convicts:
Salary of the Commandant | 200
Chaplain | 250
Surgeon | 182 10
Assistant Surgeon | 150
Pay of one Deputy Assistant Commissary General | 173 7 6
Superintendent of Convicts | 150
Chief Constable | 100
Storekeeper | 91 5
Salary of one stationary overseer, having charge of the mess, and
  inspection of the kitchen
Salary of one stationary overseer, having charge of the clothing,
  washing, &c.
Salary of one stationary overseer, having charge of the stock | 60
Salaries of 40 overseers, at 30l. per annum, exclusive of pensions as non-
  commissioned officers of the corps of Royal Artillery and Engineers
Rations for 3,000 convicts; consisting of
£. s. d.   |
   5 lbs. of flour a' 3d. per lb. is 3 5 per ann. |
   7 lbs. of salt meat a' 6d. per lb. 9 2 |
   ½ lb. of sugar a' 4d. per lb. 8 8 |
   5 lbs. of maize a' 1½d. per lb. 1 12 6 |
—— —— |
   Total expense for subsistence of each convict— £.14 8 2 per ann. | 43,225
Rations for 53 civil servants, including an allowance of three rations to
  the commandant, at 14l. 8s. 2d. per annum for each ration
763 12 10
Estimated allowance of rations to wives of civil officers, two-thirds | 509 1 10
Clothing, consisting of (for 3,000 men)
2 suits factory cloth, a' 2s. 6d. per yard 25 s. } |
making 5 s. } |
4 pairs shoes, a' 8s. per pair 32 s. }      137s.    ] | 20,550
2 straw hats } each man.] |
4 shirts 20s. } |
A bed 5s. and two rugs, 20 yards, a' 2s. 6d. 55 s. } |
Use of tools, on an average of 1l. 16s. 8d. per man per annum
Cost of annual allowance of soap for 3,000 men, at half a pound per
  man per week, a' 10d. per lb.
Five tons of fish-oil, a' 14l. per ton | 70
Cost of straw to be manufactured into hats at the Paramatta factory | 50
Cost of stationery | 100
Pay of two companies of foot soldiers, amounting to 144 men and six officers | 4,610
| ————
£.    | 82,304 17 2
| ————
Estimate of the Total annual Expenses attending the new Settlement
at PORT CURTEIS, and calculated for Three Thousand Convicts
£.    |
82,304 17 2


ESTIMATE of the Cost of the proposed Buildings at PORT BOWEN.

£. s. d.
Estimate of the cost of building and materials for the house of the
Estimate of the cost of building and materials for barracks, capable of
  containing 150 men
Estimate of the cost of building and materials of officers quarters, mess-
  room, cooking-house, and military hospital
Estimate of the cost of building and materials for a store for provisions | 1,300
Estimate of the cost of building and materials for a prison and solitary
Estimate of the cost of building and materials for the chaplain, surgeon's,     
  and commissariat officer's quarters
Estimate of materials, and tools requisite for the construction of other
  buildings at Port Bowen, and consisting of saws, hatchets, pickaxes,
  laminas, anvils, nails, rope, &c.
| ———
£.    | 6,400


ESTIMATE of the Cost of the proposed Buildings at the new Settlement   
£. s. d.
£.    | 6,400


ESTIMATE of the annual Expenses of a Settlement at MORETON BAY, for the purpose of receiving Convicts, punished by the Colonial Courts in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, calculating their number at One Thousand.

| £. s. d.
Salary of the Commandant | 100
Chaplain | 250
Surgeon | 150
Superintendent of Convicts | 75
Gaoler | 50
Storekeeper | 91 5
10 Overseers, at 30l. per annum | 300
Rations for 1,000 convicts; consisting of
£. s. d.   |
   5 lbs. of flour per week a' 3d. per lb. is 3 5 per ann. |
   7 lbs. of salt meat a' 6d. per lb. 9 2 |
   5 lbs. of maize a' 1½d. per lb. 1 12 6 |
—— —— |
   Total expense for subsistence of each convict— £.13 19 6 per ann. | 13,975
Rations for 17 civil servants, at 13l.19s. 6d. per annum
237 11 6
Ditto      for wives of civil officers, say two-thirds | 157 7 8
Clothing for 1,000 men, consisting of
2 suits factory cloth, a' 2s. 6d. per yard, making 5 s. 30 s. |
4 pairs shoes, a' 8s. per pair 32 s. |
2 straw hats |
4 shirts 20s. |
A bed 5s. and two rugs, 20 yards, a' 2s. 6d. 55 s. |
—— |
137 s. | 6,850
Use of tools, on an average, 1l. 16s. 8d. per man per annum
1,833 6 8
Cost of annual allowance of soap for 1,000 men, at ½ lb. per man per week
  a' 10d. per lb.
1,083 6 8
One ton of fish-oil | 14
Stationery | 20
Pay of one company of foot soldiers, amounting to 72 men and three officers | 2,305
| ————
£.    | 27,492 17 6


ESTIMATE of the Cost of Buildings required for the Establishment at MORETON BAY.

£. s. d.
Cost of building and materials for a house for the Commandant. | 600
Cost of building and materials for a house for the Chaplain | 400
Cost of building and materials for an hospital | 300
Cost of building and materials for a store for provisions | 700
Cost of building and materials for the surgeon s and commissariat officer's     
Estimate of the cost of building and materials for a gaol and seven
  solitary cells
Estimate of materials, and tools requisite for the construction of the
  buildings at Moreton Bay, consisting of saws, hatchets, pickaxes,
  hammers, anvils, nails, rope, paint, &c.
Estimate of the cost of building and materials for a barrack and cooking-
  house for one company of soldiers
| ———
£.    | 4,150


ESTIMATE of the Produce of the Labour of Three Thousand Convicts, at PORT BOWEN, after the first year of the Establishment*.

£. s. d.
The labour of 700 convicts employed in cutting wood, calculating that
  30 men are able to cut 30 logs, each containing 30 superficial feet of
  timber, of various kinds, in one week (the task that is assigned to that
  number of convicts at Port Hunter), will produce 36,400 logs, containing      
  1,092,000 superficial feet, in a year, which, valued at 3d. per
  foot, give
The labour of 100 sawyers employed in sawing, at the rate of 600 feet
  of hard and common wood for each pair of sawyers per week, will
  produce 1,560,000 feet of sawn timber in a year, which, valued at
  3d. per foot, will give
The labour of 1,000 men employed in the cultivation of maize, at the
  rate of 120 bushels per man per annum, valuing the maize at 3s. 6d.
  per bushel, will give
| ————
£.    |

[* The labour of the convicts will be required, during the first year of the establishment, to prepare materials, and to assist in the construction of the buildings.]

300 convicts employed in taking care of cattle and stock; bullock-drivers, carters, hospital and commissariat attendants.

25 clerks in the several offices of the commandant, commissariat, hospital, superintendent of convicts, chief constable, and magistrates; all serving without pay or additional ration.

875 convicts employed in collecting, preparing and reducing bark, and in cultivating and dressing flax and tobacco; the returns of which cannot at present be ascertained.


DIRECTIONS and Regulations for the conduct of the New Settlements at Moreton Bay, Port Bowen, and Port Curteis.

THE settlements at Port Bowen, Moreton Bay, and Port Curteis, are to be considered as receptacles for the convicts that have been transported to New South Wales for heavy offences, and for long terms, as well as for those who have, during their residence in the settled districts of the colony, shown, by their bad conduct, that they required a more severe and rigid system of discipline than those districts were capable of affording.

The Commandants of these settlements will therefore impress upon the minds of the convicts, on their arrival, that the change that has taken place in their condition, and the removal to which it has led, from the settled districts of the colony, has been the consequence of their crimes; and that nothing but a patient endurance of the hardships which they now have to encounter, and a manifestation of corrected habits, will lead to a termination of them.

The name, age, sentence, place of trial, trade, condition, date of arrival in the settlement, and name of the transport ship of each convict, will be entered in separate columns of an alphabetical register, with a number to each name, which must thenceforth be invariably observed.

The copies of the indents that will be transmitted to the commandants by the colonial secretary, together with all documents relative to the conduct and character of the convicts, will be carefully kept and preserved by him.

A copy of the hulk-list, and a copy of the report made by the surgeon of the transport ship, and the remarks therein contained, upon the conduct of the convicts, will be transmitted to the commandant; and he will cause a copy to be made fur the guidance and instruction of the superintendent of convicts. In doing this, great care must be taken to prevent any communication of these remarks to the convicts themselves.

In order to prevent the necessity of quartering the convicts, newly arrived, upon those who have already been provided with lodging, and to prevent them from being plundered of any property that they may have brought with them, a large and long dormitory, capable of containing 250 men, must be provided for their temporary accommodation, and until they have erected houses for themselves.

The superintendent of convicts will cause an accurate account to be taken of the property that each convict may have brought with him, and of the quantity of clothes and bedding, adding this statement in a separate column of the alphabetical register of names.

The commandant will impress upon the convicts the expediency of depositing any cash that they may have brought with them, in the savings-bank at Sydney, and will furnish each convict with an acknowledgment of the directors of that establishment for the sums so deposited, taking care always to transmit the name of the convict, with his number, iii the alphabetical register, and the name of the ship by which he came, and to require these particulars to be noted in the acknowledgment by the directors.

The commandant will recommend to the convicts, on their arrival, to deliver into the hands of the superintendent, for safe custody, all articles of property, or wearing apparel, that they may have brought with them, declaring at the same time that no other dress will be allowed to be worn than that which is specially appointed by government.

The distribution of the convicts, and the separation of them in the huts that they are themselves to build, must be made with reference to the characters that are given of them. The number in each but should not exceed two; and the only indulgence that should be shown to their own feelings, in classing them, should be in favour of the national one that is always found to prevail amongst transported convicts, and especially amongst the Irish.

The huts in which the convicts are to be lodged, should be constructed, as nearly as possible, upon the model of those at Pennant Hills, near Paramatta. The windows of these huts should be made of wood, and be made to swing on hinges like the ports of a man of war; and the floors should be laid with rough boards, and always be raised above around.

It should be distinctly understood and observed, that in the construction of these huts, no other implements will be allowed than nails and axes; and that the bark of the eucalyptus is to form the covering and sides of the hut.

The huts should be placed at a distance of not less than two yards from each other, in straight lines, each line being separated from the opposite one by a distance of 50 feet; leaving 30 for at street, and 10 feet on each side for footpaths.

The direction of these streets should be straight; and, as nearly as possible, parallel to each other; houses fur two overseers should be placed at both ends of each street, and commanding a view of it, to ensure a constant superintendence of the convicts during their hours of rest.

The contiguity of, or easy access to, fresh water, will determine the precise situation in which the settlements are to be formed: but it is not advisable that the huts in which the convicts are lodged should be immediately contiguous to the landing-place, or to the sea shore.

The residence of the commandant, and the military barrack, should be placed upon any elevated situation that will command a view of the settlement, sufficiently near to observe it, and to afford early assistance, and yet so much removed as to prevent communication between the soldiers and the convicts.

It should be understood by the convicts, that they are to have no property whatever in their huts, and that misconduct always lead to a forfeiture of the accommodation that they afford. Those who show themselves unworthy of enjoying it, either by rioting, quarrelling, gambling or thieving, should be lodged in a barrack by themselves; the construction of which may be similar to that lately provided at Newcastle. This barrack should be surrounded with a high paling, and enclosing a cooking-house for the separate use of the convicts confined in it.

In the rear of every fourth but there should be placed water-troughs, at which the convicts should be made to wash themselves on their return to breakfast, after the first hours of labour in the morning.

In their huts no furniture should be allowed but their bedding, and two stools; and these should be examined once a week, by an overseer, who should report all deficiencies to the principal superintendent.

A gang of washers should be appointed to wash the blankets, and air the palliasses, as well as to furnish them with clean straw.

The convicts are to be mustered in gangs, at daylight, on every morning, except Sundays, by their overseers; and the names of those who are missing are to be immediately reported, in writing, to the principal superintendent, who will visit the separate gangs on uncertain days and hours, for the purpose of checking the returns of the overseers. The hours of labour for the convicts will be from daylight to 8 o'clock; one hour and a half will then be allowed for cleaning themselves and breakfast; from half past 9 till 12, the work will be resumed. One hour will be allowed for dinner, and the work will continue from I o'clock till sunset.

The returns of the principal superintendent will be made out on two days in each week, from the daily lists of the overseers of each gang, according to a printed form, in which the number of each gang, on each day of the week, will appear; and when submitted to the commandant, and signed by him, will be an authority to the officer of the commissariat department to issue rations.

The labour of the convicts at the settlements of Port Bowen, Port Curteis, and Moreton Bay, is to be devoted, in the first place, to the construction of such buildings as are immediately required; secondly, to the cutting and sawing of wood, and clearing the ground from roots; and thirdly, to the cultivation of maize, vegetables, flax and tobacco, and the collection and preparation of bark. As the convicts are to be lodged in huts of their own construction, the buildings to be undertaken will consist of the following: A house for the commandant; barracks for the officers and soldiers; a storehouse for the provisions; a quarter for the chaplain; a quarter for the officer of the commissariat department; a quarter for the surgeon; an hospital, with cooking-houses for each; a washhouse; four cooking-houses for the convicts, each of them large enough to dress provisions for 500 men; four mess-rooms for the convicts; houses for the overseers; a working shed, surrounded with a paling, and containing two forges; eight saw pits, covered, and a carpenters shop; a prison, containing two large rooms, and 20 cells for the solitary confinement of convicts; a chapel.

In the construction of these buildings, no other objects are to be considered than solidity and accommodation; and, with the exception of the chimneys, the provision-store, and the gaol, are to be built entirely of wood.

The provision-store should be situated as near as may be found convenient to the landing-place and the sea beach, and with as much exposure as possible to the sea breeze. It should consist of three stories, of which the lowest should be 14 feet in height; the floor being elevated two feet above the ground, and each of the two upper stories being eight feet in heighth: The staircases to this building should be on the outside, giving access to any one of the stories, without unnecessarily opening the others.

The house of the commandant at Newcastle, the overseers houses there, and the chapel at Pennant Hills, may respectively be taken as fit subjects of imitation in the same buildings at the new establishments.

When these buildings are completed, the labour of the convicts will be altogether devoted to the cultivation of land in maize, flax and tobacco, and the procuring of timber and bark for exportation to Port Jackson, and the southern settlements.

The object to be kept in view by the commandants and the superintendents of convicts at these establishments, is the constant employment of the convicts in labour that mill raise a proportion of the food required for their on subsistence, and make some return to government for the expense which is incurred in their clothing and maintenance.

In pursuing these objects, the superintendents of convicts will bear in mind, that in the several species of labour that have been assigned for the employment of the convicts, there is a positive difference that is always to be taken advantage of, stud to be adapted to the nature of the offences of which they have been guilty, and to be subject to no other limitation than the physical capacity of the individual. Thus, to the worst description of men, must be given the labour of loading and unloading, and removing heavy weights; that of cutting and sawing the largest trees, and the hardest timber; and generally, those employments that have the greatest tendency to exhaust the strength.

To the men of better character should be assigned the lighter operations of agriculture and gardening, the care of cattle, and the driving of carts; and it should be considered and understood, as an invariable rule, that the nature and extent of the labour of a convict are to be determined by his character and conduct, and not by his capacity, or the wants of the establishment.

The mechanics that successively arrive are to be employed in the several trades described in the return, as long as the construction of buildings, and the nature of the labour in which the convicts may be employed, shall require it.

It is not advisable that task-work should be given to, men, as it is not intended that they shall apply, to their own benefit, any portion of the day that they may save, after their task is completed. It will, however, be the duty of the superintendent to proportion the amount of labour performed by each convict to the greatest quantity that his strength will allow him to perform during the day, More with a view to determine that quantity, than to excite the men to an earlier or quicker performance of it.

As it is of great importance that this work should be punctually and accurately measured, one person, to be named by the deputy superintendent, will be specially charged with this duty, and will make a report daily to his superior.

It is considered, that in all the severer parts of agricultural labour, such as cutting timber, sawing, ploughing, burning off, hoeing and billing maize, the quantity of work required of each convict may be defined. In other operations of a more complex kind, the quantity cannot easily be fixed, and they are therefore, as much as possible, to be avoided.

The convicts, not assigned, are not to be allowed to cultivate land on their own account, or to give their assistance, in any shape, to the overseers in the cultivation of the portions that will be allowed to them.

A station will be selected by the commandant for the draught cattle that will be employed In assisting the construction of the buildings, and the cultivation of the land; at which it will be necessary to place an overseer, and a few convicts under him.

A station and stock-yard are to be made for the reception of a breeding herd of cattle and swine, and a flock of sheep for the use of the settlement, which should also be placed under the care of an overseer, and a certain number of convicts.

Monthly reports of the increase and decrease of the stock, are to be made by the overseer to the commandant of the settlement, and to the officer of the commissariat department. No person whatever is to have any interest in the herds or stock; and no cattle or stock, belonging to individuals are to be allowed to graze with or near them.

The herds and stock are to be placed under the control and responsibility of the officer of the commissariat department, who will include a statement of the increase and decrease in his quarterly returns to the chief of the department, for the information of the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury.

The supply of fresh meat from the government herds, for the use of the settlement, is to be regulated by the officer of the commissariat department; and a quarterly return of the quantity so supplied is to be made to the commandant, and by him to be transmitted to the governor of New South Wales. A similar return will be made to the chief of the commissariat department at head quarters.

The issues of provisions are to be made twice a week, and to consist of the following rations: seven pounds of salt beef, or four pounds of salt pork, five pounds of wheaten flour, and five pounds of maize flour.

As the state of the herds and flocks may allow, rations of one pound of fresh meat per day will be issued in lieu of the salt meat.

Five pounds of wheaten flour, mid two pounds of flour of maize, (producing eight pounds of bread) are to be baked for the convicts, and served out daily to them one day old.

The remaining three pounds of flour of maize are to be boiled and prepared for their breakfast, every morning in the week, with a proportion of the allowance of half a pound of sugar.

The only increase to this ration is to be made in the flour of maize to convicts who conduct themselves well, by adding two pounds to the allowance of maize flour for breakfast and supper.

A garden for the sole use of the convicts is to be immediately formed for supplying pumpkins, potatoes, cabbages, and herbs.

The rations are to be prepared for the convicts by cooks and bakers selected from them, mid are to be issued to them in messes of six, and conveyed to them by one individual of the mess, to prevent them from gambling for their rations. One overseer will attend at each mess. table, at every meal, and one at each cooking-house, to observe the issue of the rations, and to prevent partiality in the distribution. As large a proportion of vegetables as the garden will supply, and not exceeding half a and to each convict, is to be constantly prepared with their dinners, and served out with their rations of meat; when fresh meat is issued, the broth in which it is boiled is to be served with it.

All mess utensils are to be left at the mess-houses; and they are to consist of one knife and fork, one spoon, one wooden latter, one tin, pot, and one wooden bowl.

One overseer is to be appointed for the superintendence of the cooking and baking, and messing, for the convicts of the settlement; and to his care and control the mess apparatus is to be delivered. A muster and inspection of this apparatus, as well as of the bedding of the convicts, is to be made on the last Saturday of every month, by the commandant; attended by the superintendent of convicts; and a report of the deficiencies is to be transmitted to the governor of New South Wales.

The clothing of each convict is to consist of two full suits of the following articles: Two cotton striped shirts, one duck frock, two duck trowsers, one straw hat, two pair of shoes.

The wash-house and care of the linen are to be placed under an overseer, whose duty it will be to see that the linen is properly washed and pressed by the gang of washers, and that it is issued out to each convict twice a week from a laundry and store adjoining.

Upon the issue of clothing to the convicts, care must be taken to paint on each piece the number corresponding to the name of each convict in the alphabetical register, and to make a separate and accurate account of the date and quantity of clothing issued, so as to check all complaints of the future want or waste of it.

The clothes are to be changed on Wednesdays and Sundays, and to be delivered to the convicts on the Sunday mornings, and on Wednesdays on their return to breakfast.

Half a pound of soap is to be allowed to each convict per week, and barbers are to be appointed to shrive them on the Sundays and Wednesdays.

On Sunday mornings all the convicts at the establishment are to be mustered at 6 o'clock by their overseers, and the principal superintendent of convicts. Two hours will then be allowed for cleaning themselves, and procuring a change of linen at the linen store, and returning their dirty linen.

At 10 o'clock the convicts, in their clean dresses, are to be mustered by the commandant, and their names called over in his presence. He will then inquire into, and, if necessary, order punishment for all deficiencies in their dress and clothing. One half of the convicts will attend divine service in the morning, and one half in the evening. During the hours of divine service, every convict that does not attend church will be required to remain in his hut, and will be punished if he is seen out of it.

The bibles and prayer books, and religious tracts that are sent on board the convict ships, with the convicts from England, are to be sent with them from Sydney by the surgeon superintendent, and addressed to the chaplain of the settlement. To his care and discretion will be confided the distribution of these books; and it is recommended that they should be returned, by every convict, to the chaplain's house, after service, on each Sunday. On ever Wednesday evening the labour of the day is to close at four o'clock; and schools, for the instruction of such convicts as are not able to read and write are to be formed, teachers being selected by the chaplain from amongst the convicts, who are to be rewarded for their trouble by an extra ration of two pounds of bread per week.

The convicts who are not engaged in the schools are to attend evening prayers, and a lecture in the chapel.

The direction of the labours of the convicts is to be placed in the bands of the superintendent of convicts who will make a weekly report of the nature of the employment of the convicts, the number employed, and the quantity of work performed, to the commandant. These reports, when signed by him, are to be transmitted to the governor of New South Wales who will submit them to the inspection and perusal of the chief engineer at Sydney, for his report and observations.

When the buildings required at the several establishments are completed, the labour of the convicts is to be devoted to the raising of the produce hereinbefore specified, and to the preparation of wood for exportation to the southern settlements.

The vessels that will be employed to keep up a communication between the southern and northern settlements are the only vessels that are to be permitted to load at the latter skulk places. If others touch there, they are to be allowed to obtain water, but nothing else, of any description or kind whatsoever, except in case of extreme distress. If the approach of vessels to the harbour and anchorage be not visible at the settlement, the commandant will place a signal-post and semaphore on some elevated position, under the care of a corporal's guard, for the purpose of giving the earliest intimation of the approach and departure of vessels, and of any movement that may be made towards them from the shore.

The semaphore should communicate to a signal-post placed near the house of the commandant, and reports of the successive signals should be made to the commandant, and to the superintendent of convicts, as the vessels approach, and on their departure, till they are out of sight. No boat, proceeding from any vessel, is to be allowed to land, until a signal shall be made from the shore. The master of the vessel is alone to be permitted to land, to deliver his papers, and dispatches to the commandant; and one landing-place only is to be allowed, and is to be placed under the charge of a corporal's guard.

A specification of the cargoes of the vessels that proceed from Sydney to the norther settlements is, invariably to accompany the clearance signed by the naval officer. This specification will be signed by the colonial secretary, and is to set forth the contents of each package, and the name of the party to whom it is addressed; the consignor being held responsible for the conformity of the contents, both in quality and quantity, to the description.

The clearance of the vessel from Sydney will contain the names and description of the crew. It will be signed by the colonial secretary, and dated according to the hour and day on which the muster of the crew is taken. It is to be accompanied by the receipt of the master for every article that is taken on board.

If the vessel shall have remained at Sydney for any length of time after the muster has been made by the colonial secretary, the clearance is again to be signed, and certified to be correct, by the naval officer.

No free person, except officers on the establishment, military men, their wives and families, and free women proceeding to join their husbands, will be permitted to repair to the new settlements, or to reside there.

The vessels clearing out from Sydney to any of the three northern settlements must proceed thither direct.

The captain's journal is to be submitted to the inspection of the commandant, and an account of the expenditure of provisions put on board fur the use of the crew and convicts, and guard, stating also, the remains then on board, is to be submitted to the commissariat officer at the settlement.

Every effort of the commandant is to be directed to prevent the importation of spirituous liquors, or of any species of luxury that is not authorized by the colonial secretary at Sydney, for for the use of the free inhabitants of the settlement. To the convicts no other article of luxury or indulgence is to be allowed to be sent from Sydney, than those of tea and sugar; and those only in small quantities to the convicts who are married. Free women, who may be permitted to join their husbands, must be made acquainted with this restriction, and be strictly bound by it. To these persons the prohibition of importing spirits is more particularly applicable than to any others of the free inhabitants.

The quantity of spirits allowed to be imported by each of the free overseers, is not to exceed 50 gallons in any one year after their first arrival; mad the sale of spirits, by such persons, to the convicts for their labour, is to be punished in an overseer by suspension of his pay, for a period not exceeding six months.

A duplicate account of all supplies sent from the commissariat department at head quarters to the new settlements, is to accompany the specifications of the cargoes of the government vessels, and to be addressed to the respective commandants of those stations.

Accounts are to be kept by the commandants and superintendents of convicts of the quantities of wood, flax, bark, tobacco and maize, that are cut, raised, and prepared by the labour of the convicts at each settlement, specifying the name of the overseer, the names and number of the gang or gangs of convicts by whom the produce has respectively been raised. Copies of these accounts are to accompany the specifications of the cargoes of the vessels in which this produce is embarked, and are to be addressed to the colonial secretary, and the chief engineer at Sydney.

No article of any kind is to be allowed to be exported by any person from the new settlements, without the permission of the commandant; and no article of wood, flax, bark, tobacco or maize, is to be allowed to be exported by individuals, whether free or convict.

An account of every article exported or put on board the government vessels is to be entered in a book to be kept by the commandant, who will transmit a copy thereof, signed by himself, together with the receipt of the captain, to the commandant of the next station, ii the vessel proceeds thither, and to the colonial secretary, if the vessel proceeds to Sydney. Upon the arrival at Sydney of a sufficient quantity of produce from the new settlements, the chief engineer, with the permission and direction of the governor of New South Wales, will cause a notice to be inserted in the Gazette of a public sale by auction of the said produce; the same being first divided into lots, corresponding to the place of production, and, as nearly as possible, to the different gangs and overseers by whose labour it has been raised.

The account sales are to be made out in triplicate, and signed by the auctioneer and chief engineer; and one copy thereof is to be transmitted to the colonial secretary, for the information of His Majesty's Secretary of State for the colonies, another to the commandant of the respective settlement, the produce of which has been the subject of sale, and another copy is to be transmitted to the chief officer of the commissariat department in the colony, to whom the proceeds are to be paid.

The proceeds are to be applied in the following manner: fifteen sixteenths are to be carried to the credit of the public account of the colony, and one eighth of the remaining sixteenth is to be paid to the principal superintendent of each settlement, and the remaining seven eighths to the several overseers of the gangs, according to the amount of the respective produce of their labour.

The clearances of the government vessels, proceeding from any of the new settlements to Sydney, or from one settlement to another, are to contain lists of the crew, and are to be signed by the commandants.

No person whatever, whether civil or military, is to be permitted to leave the settlements, or to remove from one to the other, except in case of illness, or urgent necessity, without the permission of the governor of New South Wales.

The wives of the convicts sent to the new settlements will be permitted to join their husbands; and, with their children, to reside there.

Separate huts are to be provided for the married convicts, and they are to be built in a separate part of the settlement.

All letters that are conveyed by the government vessels must be received from the post-office at Sydney, and must be delivered to the respective commandants by the masters of the said vessels, mho will be liable to a penalty of one month's pay for the breach of that regulation.

The commandants will be allowed to exercise a discretion in opening any letters that are addressed to convicts; and all letters addressed by them are to be delivered to the commandants, and to be sent to the post-office at Sydney in a bag, sealed with the seal of the commandant.

No communication is to be permitted between the crews of the government vessels touching at the new settlements, Laid the convicts there; and the vessels are to be loaded by their crews, and not by the convicts.

All sailors belonging to the Government vessels are to be on board before eight o'clock on every evening, under pain of being stopped by the sentries, and apprehended by the constables, and of being confined for the night, together with a forfeiture of one month's wages.

The same regulation must extend to the masters and mates of vessels.

No free person is to be allowed to go on board a government vessel without a pass signed by the commandant; and no convict, or boat's crew composed of convicts, is to be allowed to go on board a government vessel, either approaching or at anchor in the harbour. Sentries must be ordered to enforce this regulation with strictness and vigilance, and to fire at any boat or boats that wilfully disregard a first caution.

To prevent the concealment and escapes of the convicts on board the government vessels, it is expedient that they should quit their anchorage at an hour to be fixed by the commandant, so as to enable the superintendents of convicts to muster the gangs immediately, or as nearly as may be, before the departure of the vessel. Any master or sailor, belonging to a government vessel, that shall be proved to have assisted in, or connived at, the concealment of a convict on board his vessel, or to have received any reward for assisting him to make his escape, shall be liable to be imprisoned in the common gaol at Sydney, for a period not exceeding twelve months, and to forfeit his wages for a period not exceeding one year.

The commandants will order all government vessels, that anchor within half a mile of the landing-places at each settlement, to deposit their sails in the commissariat store, or other safe place, the to remain during the stay of the vessel at that settlement.

It is recommended, that as few boats as possible shall be kept for the use of the settlement: they are to be chained and locked, and hauled up every evening; and the oars and sails taken out, and deposited in the guardhouse.

The commandants of the different settlements will select from amongst the convicts sent thither the men of best character, and will appoint them to be constables: they are to be placed under the care and control of the chief constable.

The chief constable will report in writing to the commandants, at ten o'clock every morning, the occurrences of the preceding night; and will present a list of all prisoners who may have been committed for any offences, either on the complaints of overseers or of other convicts.

The commandants will proceed to take the information of the several parties on oath; and will cause the evidence to be taken down in writing, read over to the witnesses, and then to be signed with their names or marks.

The commandants, after considering the evidence, will give such sentence as the several cases may appear to them to deserve.

The commandants, when sitting alone, are not to inflict a greater corporal punishment Than so lashes.

When assisted by one or more of the military or civil officers of the settlement, they will have the power of inflicting 100 lashes.

For the correction of ordinary offences, of neglect of work, resistance or insolence to overseers, petty thefts, and the use of indecent language or oaths,—the augmentation of labour, and the diminution of food, will be found more effectual than corporal punishments.

Convicts guilty of these offences should be placed and made to sleep on one room of the barracks; should be made to work in the heavy-work gang; and should be deprived of the breakfast allowance which should be given in augmentation of the allowance of the convicts who conduct themselves well.

They should further be made to work in chains at some labour of a determinate quantity.

They should also be ordered to work in a tread-wheel, and to grind into flour the maize that is ordered to be issued for the rations of the convicts.

They should likewise be punished by solitary confinement in the cells of the gaol, and by a reduction of the daily allowance of food to that of one pound of bread per day.

The overseers are to be prohibited from striking the convicts placed in their charge, and are to report all offences committed by them to the superintendent.

The commandants will take care that the daily entries of proceedings in the register of offences are made with accuracy, and that they are always signed by themselves.

The registers of offences are be made up and concluded at the end of every year; and an alphabetical reference is to be kept, and accompany each register, in which the name of ash every convict who has been brought before the commandant and magistrates within that period, together with his number in the general alphabetical register, and the term of his original sentence, should be set forth.

A nominal list of all offenders that have been brought before the commandant and magistrates, with a description of their offences, their number in the general alphabetical register, the date of their sentence and punishment, and the term of their original sentence (according to the form in the Appendix), is to be transmitted every quarter by the commandant to the colonial secretary, who will cause a copy of it to be delivered to the principal superintendent of convicts there.

All offences committed by convicts at either of the new settlements, except that of murder, are to be tried and punished by the commandants and magistrates.

The separation of the convicts, in their hours of labour as well as of leisure, must be particularly attended to by the superintendent.

As he will possess more ample means of informing himself of their proceedings and conduct titan any other person, he will order any change to be made in the individuals of each gang, that may appear to hint to be necessary, for the separation of the convicts that are well conducted, and that manifest a disposition to reform, from those whose habits, conduct and conversation only corrupt their associates. This system of separation may be introduced into their labour, their lodging, and their meals; and the superintendent of convicts is not only to enforce it as a matter of duty, and to punish any violation of it, but always to bear in mind, that although productive labour is to be considered the lot of every convict sent to the new establishments, yet, that whenever the plan upon which it is conducted shall be found to interfere with the great object of reforming them, it must be immediately changed or modified.

With a view to give more effectual separation to the convicts, the commandants will from time to time, and as the number increases by new arrivals, order separate establishments to be formed in the interior of the country, at a distance of to or 15 miles from the principal settlement.

The buildings are in no case to exceed in number those required for an overseer, a store for provisions, and a place of confinement. The huts of the convicts will be constructed in the same manner as those already described.

The commandants will frequently visit these detached settlements, and inquire into and observe their progress; reporting the same, as well mall occurrences at the principal settlement, to the colonial secretary at Sydney.

The commandants will at all times pay attention to the complaints of the convicts, and cause investigations to be made into them: they will likewise frequently inspect the state of their provisions and clothing.

The commandants are to make quarterly returns to the chief engineer at Sydney, of all stores received, expended, and remaining at each settlement; and to state the manner in which they have been applied and expended.

The chief engineer at Sydney will give directions from time to time for the buildings that are to be undertaken at the several settlements, and will transmit plans for the same, when they have been submitted to, and approved by, the Governor of New South Wales.

The commandants of the different settlements, either in forming the principal ones, or in making others, will not fail to bear in mind, that the great objects proposed are, the employment of the convicts in those kinds of labour that admit of augmentation and diminution, proportioned to the past and present conduct of the different convicts; that also admit of their separation, and that at the same time create in many of them, and fix in all, a knowledge of those kinds of labour that are hereafter to become the means of their support.

The commandants will be careful to withdraw from the view or reach of the convicts, all temptations to wander from the settlements, and for this purpose will give permission to the officers and soldiers alone to keep dogs, for taking kangaroos and emus. Every opportunity should be given to drive them from the neighbourhood of the settlements in the early periods of the establishment; provided, however, that no convicts are to be allowed to engage in this occupation.

The commandants will take the earliest opportunities of establishing a friendly intercourse with the black natives of the country, and punish severely any ill treatment of them by the soldiers or convicts.

The black natives should be encouraged to apprehend all fugitive convicts, and rewarded for such exertions with presents of corn, fish-hooks, and blankets.

The commandants will from time to time transmit to the Governor of New South Vales the names of such convicts as shall in their opinion be deserving of removal to the settled districts of the colony: to each name there must be added the number in the general alphabetical register, his original sentence, its date, the date of his arrival in the colony, the ship in which he came and his occupation in the settlement, and his character for industry and obedience.

The commandants are required to make a distinction between cases, wherein a simple removal of a convict is recommended to the settled districts, and those where they think that a further indulgence of a ticket of leave may be added on their arrival there, stating the special circumstances upon which the distinction is founded.

Before he accedes to these recommendations, the Governor of New South Wales will have reference to the nominal list of offences transmitted every quarter by the commandants to the colonial secretary, and will by that means be able to satisfy himself whether the convicts recommended have been guilty of any offences previous to the period or recommendation, and whether such offences are of a nature to constitute just ground of refusal.

Upon the receipt of this list from any of the new settlements, the Governor of New South Wales, after determining the number of convicts that in his judgment are fit to be removed, will order a notice to be inserted in the Sydney Gazette, informing the inhabitants of the colony, that a certain number of convict labourers, or mechanics, are allowed to repair to Sydney, and requiring, that all persons who are in want of such servants should make application to the colonial secretary, and be in readiness to receive such convicts on their arrival, or to appoint places to which they may be sent.

The names of such convicts as are deemed by the Governor of New South Wales fit to be rewarded with tickets of leave, are to be inserted in the Sydney Gazette, together with the name of the district in which they are to reside.



[Source: Historical Records of Australia, Volume 10, pp. 2-11]


(Despatch No. 1, per ship John Barry; acknowledged by Governor Macquarie, 22nd February, 1820.)

Downing Street, 30th January, 1819.   


The Prince Regent, having had under his consideration the actual Circumstances of the Colony under your Government, more particularly with a view of ascertaining how far in its present improved and increasing State, it is susceptible of being made adequate to the Objects of its original Institution, has been pleased to direct that a special Commissioner {1} should proceed to New South Wales, and should there conduct the enquiries necessary to this important Object.

The Gentleman selected for this Duty is Mr. John Thomas Bigge, {2} who has for many years filled a high Judicial Situation in one of His Majesty's Colonies with the Entire Approbation of His Royal Highness The Prince Regent.

In order to explain to you more distinctly the Objects of his Appointment, I have the Honor to enclose a Copy of the Commission, and of the Instructions with which he has been furnished.

As it may be necessary for him in the course of his Enquiry to have the Power of Administering an Oath to the Persons, whose Testimony he may require, it is the Pleasure of His Royal Highness that you should immediately on his arrival in the Colony appoint him a Justice of the Peace and Magistrate for the Territory; you will further give him every Facility of Access to Official Documents, and every other Assistance in your power in the prosecution of the Objects of his Commission.

During the interval, which has elapsed between Mr. Bigge's Appointment and his Departure for the Colony, he had free access to all the Correspondence connected with the Colony, and has been put perfectly in possession of the views of His Majesty's Government; His Royal Highness has therefore been pleased to instruct Mr. Bigge to recommend to your immediate Adoption any Alteration or Improvement of the System at present in force in the Colony, which he may consider necessary either for the Remedy of existing Evils, or for the prevention of Causes of Complaint in future, and I have only to desire that you would give to his recommendations in this particular the weight due to them by an early, if not an immediate, adoption of them. Should however any case occur, in which you may deem it adviseable to take upon yourself the heavy responsibility of declining to adopt his suggestions, you will communicate to me without delay the reasons of your Refusal for the special consideration and Decision of His Royal Highness.

I have, &c.,            

[Enclosure No. 1]


In the Name and on behalf of His Majesty.
   George, P.R.

GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, To Our Trusty and Well-beloved John Thomas Bigge, Esqre., Greeting. Whereas We have judged it expedient to cause an Enquiry to be made into the present State of the Settlements in Our Territory of New South Wales and its Dependencies, and of the Laws, Regulations and Usages, Civil Military and Ecclesiastical prevailing therein, Now Know You that We, having especial Trust and Confidence in your approved Wisdom and Fidelity, have assigned, nominated and appointed and by these presents assign, nominate and appoint you, the said John Thomas Bigge, to be Our Commissioner to repair to Our said Settlements in Our said Territory in New South Wales, and by these Presents do give you full power and Authority to examine into all the Laws Regulations and Usages of the Settlements in the said Territory and its Dependencies, and into every other Matter or Thing in any way connected with the Administration of the Civil Government, the Superintendence and Reform of the Convicts, the State of the Judicial, Civil and Ecclesiastical Establishments, Revenues, Trade and internal Resources thereof, and to report to Us the Information, which You shall collect together, with your opinion thereupon, reducing your Proceedings, by Virtue of these Presents and your Observations touching and concerning the premises, into writing, to be certified under Your hand and Seal, and We do hereby require Our Governor of Our said Territory for the time being and all and every One, Officers and Ministers within the said Territory and its Dependencies to be aiding and assisting to you in the due execution of this Our Commission. In Witness, &ca. And for so doing this shall be Your Warrant.

Given at Our Court at Carlton House this fifth day of January, 1819, in the Fifty ninth Year of Our Reign.

By the Command of His Royal Highness The Prince Regent in the name and on the Behalf of His Majesty.


[Enclosure No. 2.]


Downing Street, 6th January, 1819.   


As the time is now approaching for your Departure for New South Wales in the execution of the Duty to which His Royal Highness The Prince Regent has been pleased to appoint you, it becomes my Duty to direct your attention to those points which will, on your arrival in the Colony, form the leading Object of your Enquiry.

You are aware of the causes which first led to the Formation of the Settlements in New Holland. As they were peculiar in themselves, these Settlements cannot be administered with the usual Reference to those general Principles of Colonial Policy, which are applicable to other Foreign Possessions of His Majesty, Not having been established with any view to Territorial or Commercial Advantages, they must chiefly be considered as Receptacles for Offenders, in which Crimes may be executed at a distance from home by punishments sufficiently severe to deter others from the Commission of Crimes, and so regulate, as to operate the Reform of the Persons by whom they had been committed. So long as they continue destined by the Legislature of the Country to these purposes, their Growth as Colonies must be a Secondary Consideration, and the leading Duty of those, to whom their Administration is entrusted, will be to keep up in them such a system of just discipline, as may render Transportation an Object of serious Apprehension. While the Settlements were in their Infancy, the Regulations, to which Convicts were subjected on their arrival, were sufficiently severe, and were moreover capable of being strictly and uniformly enforced. Hard Labour, moderate Food, and constant Superintendance were, and (what was at least of as much Importance) were believed in this Country to be the inevitable consequences of a Sentence of Transportation, varying only as to the period during which they were enforced, either according to the original Sentences of the Convicts or to the Evidence, which their Conduct in the Settlement afforded of their Progress towards Amendment and Reform. At this time it appears that Transportation to New South Wales answered every end of Punishment; For while it operated, not very severely though always beneficially, on the Convicts themselves, the opinion of its severity in this Country was so enhanced by the distance of the Settlement and the little which was known of it, that it was an object here of peculiar Apprehension. {3} There are instances on record, in which Convicts have expressed their desire that the Sentence of Transportation might be commuted even for the utmost Rigour of the Law, and it is not too much to assert that the Punishment did then materially contribute to prevent the Commission of those Crimes to which it was at that time more particularly confined.

Many Circumstances however have since concurred to render the Punishment lighter in itself, to diminish the Apprehension entertained in this Country of its Severity, and to break down all proportion between the punishment and the Crimes for which it is now inflicted.

You will find these circumstances detailed in my Letter {4} to Lord Sidmouth, in which I first suggested the expediency of this Commission. Every Information which I have since received, and every consideration which I have since given to the subject, confirms me in the conviction that an Investigation is become necessary. Since the writing of that Letter, Intelligence has been received of the arrival of that large body of Convicts, which I then noticed to be under Sentence of Transportation, and the number, on whom this Sentence has since been passed, has considerably increased. In addition to which, a Great proportion is for Offences of that Magnitude in Moral Depravity, or of such serious Mischief to Society, as have been generally expiated by the utmost Rigour of the Law. While Transportation to New South Wales is thus applied as an adequate Punishment for the most Heinous Crimes, it unfortunately at the same time carries with it in Public Estimation so little of Apprehension in any proportion to the Guilt of the Convicts, that numerous applications are made from those who are sentenced to Imprisonment for Minor Transgressions that they may be allowed to participate in the Punishment to which the greatest Offenders are condemned.

Such being the actual State of Things, it appears to The Prince Regent most important that the first Object of your Enquiry should be to ascertain whether any and what Alteration in the existing system of the Colony can render it available to the purpose of its original Institution, and adequate for its more extended application. With a view to this you will examine how far it may be possible to enforce in the Colonies already established, a System of General Discipline, Constant Work, and Vigilant Superintendance. The Latter must necessarily be understood to comprise complete separation from the Mass of the Population, and more or less of personal Confinement, according to the Magnitude of the Offence. You will therefore pay particular Attention to the possibility of providing Buildings proper to the Reception of all the Convicts, the want of such Buildings having been frequently and justly represented by the Governor as one main Obstacle to the Enforcement of Discipline. Should it appear to you, as I have too much reason to apprehend will be the Result, that the present Settlements are not capable of undergoing any efficient Change, the next Object for your Consideration will be the expediency of abandoning them altogether as Receptacles for Convicts, and forming on other parts of the Coasts, or in the Interior of the Country, distinct Establishments exclusively for the Reception and proper Employment of the Convicts who may hereafter be sent out. From such a Measure, it is obvious that many Advantages must result. It would effectually separate the Convict from the Free Population; the Labour of forming a New Settlement would afford constant means of Employment and that of a severer Description. By forming more than one of such separate Establishments, the means of classifying the Offenders, according to the Degrees of Crime, would be facilitated, and that salutary Apprehension of the punishment revived, which can alone make it available to the grave Offences to which it is at present applied. But on the other hand you will have to consider, what would in the first instance be the expence of the measures, which you might think yourself justified in recommending, and what may be the probable Amount of Annual Charge, which may result from their Adoption. I need not impress upon you the necessity of making your Estimates as accurate as circumstances will admit, for it will be obvious to you that in order to enable His Majesty's Government to decide whether it is adviseable to continue, or to alter, or to abandon the System, which for near Forty Years has been pursued, it will be most material for them to know, not only the means by which Transportation can be rendered an effectual Punishment for the Prevention of Crime, but also the Expence at which, as compared with other Systems of Punishment, it can be enforced.

I have only in conclusion to desire that you will in the whole course of your enquiries constantly bear in mind that Transportation to New South Wales is intended as a severe Punishment applied to various Crimes, and as such must be rendered an Object of real Terror to all Classes of the Community. You must be aware that it is taking but an imperfect view of the end of Punishment, if you look only to the state of those on whom it is inflicted. The Great End of Punishment is the Prevention of Crime, and as there are gradations in Crimes, against the Commission of which the Legislature is bound to guard in proportion to their moral Turpitude or to the injurious Effects which, either necessarily in themselves or from the Circumstances under which they were practised, they may have on the Community, the sufferings of those, to whom punishment is awarded, do not answer the purpose for which they were inflicted, unless they are in some degree proportioned to the Offences committed, and of a Character to deter others from Similar Misdeeds. Transportation must not be considered like imprisonment in Gaol applicable to the suspected and unfortunate in common with the criminal, but it operates exclusively on convicted Guilt, and that too as a part (not the most effectual part) of the punishment assigned to it. For mere Expatriation is not in these days an Object of considerable Terror. The Intercourse, which it breaks, is readily reestablished, and the Mystery, which used to hang over the Fate of those condemned to it, can never long exist. It is the Situation of the Convicts in the place to which they shall have been consigned, the strict Discipline, the unremitting Labour, the severe but wholesome privations to which they are condemned; It is their sad Estrangement from the sweets and comforts of a Life, which their Guilt has forfeited, and the Mercy of His Majesty has spared, and above all the strong feeling impressed upon this Country that such is the unavoidable Fate of the unhappy Men, on whom the Sentence has passed, that can alone make Transportation permanently formidable. If therefore, by ill considered Compassion for Convicts, or from what might under other circumstances be considered a laudable desire to lessen their sufferings, their Situation in New South Wales be divested of all Salutary Terror, Transportation cannot operate as an effectual example on the Community at large, and as a proper punishment for those Crimes against the Commission of which His Majesty's Subjects have a right to claim protection, nor as an adequate Commutation for the utmost Rigour of the Law.

I have, &c.,            

[Enclosure No. 3.]


Downing Street, 6th January, 1819.   


In the course of the enquiries, which you are authorized under your Commission to institute in New South Wales, the conduct of the several persons in authority in that Colony will necessarily come under your particular Review, and as you are aware, from the free access which you have had to the correspondence of this Department, of the Grounds on which the Conduct of many of the Servants in that Colony has been subjected to accusation, you will not fail to enquire how far the reports, which have from different quarters reached His Majesty's Government, are deserving of Consideration. But although I am to desire that you do not permit your respect for any Individual, however exalted in rank or sacred in Character, to check an Investigation of his Conduct, in cases in which you deem it to be necessary, yet I am equally to impress upon you the necessity of not divulging in the Colony the opinion, which you may ultimately form as to the justice of the original suspicion. The Result of your Investigation, and the Evidence by which it is to be supported, is to be communicated to His Majesty's Government alone, and, although it will be your Duty to furnish them with the most ample details, it will be no less incumbent upon you to prevent any disclosure in the Colony, which could only have the Effect of inflaming existing Resentments and disturbing the Tranquillity of the Colony, during the Interval which must elapse between your departure from the Settlements and the final Decision of His Majesty's Government.

Should however the result of your enquiries, either on this or any other subject, lead you to entertain an opinion that the system, which has been pursued in any Department, is either so bad in itself or so liable to Abuse as to render an immediate Alteration desireable, you will consider yourself authorized to express to the Governor in writing the several Improvements and Alterations, which you deem it your Duty to recommend to his immediate Adoption, and you will consider the Instruction as applying to every branch of Administration with the exception of the Distribution of the Military Force.

I have, &c.,            

[Enclosure No. 4.]


Downing Street, 6th January, 1819.   


I have already had the occasion to point out to you those Objects of Enquiry on your arrival in New South Wales, which are connected with the Administration of the Settlements there as fit Receptacles for Convicts; but although the Prince Regent considers these to be the most important and therefore the main Objects of your Investigation, yet His Royal Highness is also desirous of availing himself of your presence in that Quarter in order to obtain a Report upon the variety of Topics, which have more or less Reference to the Advancement of those Settlements as Colonies of the British Empire. It becomes therefore my Duty to detail to you the Subjects, upon which it appears requisite that you should furnish every Information in your power, and in doing so I deem it necessary to premise that, in any opinion you may be led to form with respect to any change in the existing Regulation of the Colony, you must always bear in mind the possibility of an Abandonment of the present System of Transportation so far as regards the existing Settlements, and must therefore in recommending any Measures for adoption carefully distinguish how far you consider them applicable to the Settlements in their actual State, or only to that in which they would be placed in the event of the Convict part of the Population being henceforth diverted to other Stations.

The Establishment of the Courts of Justice will form the first subject of such an enquiry. It will be for you to consider whether the Alterations introduced into the Constitution of the Courts in 1812 have rendered them adequate to the wants of the Inhabitants, and to the due Administration of Criminal and Civil Justice, and, if they still appear to you to be defective, to suggest the Improvement of which you conceive they are susceptible. You will also particularly report whether the Settlements in Van Diemen's Land have advanced so far in Population and Wealth, as to require a Judicature altogether separate and distinct from that of the Principal Settlements in New South Wales. In connection with the Judicial Establishments, you will not fail to review the Police Regulations of the Colony, and the manner of their Application to the several Classes of Inhabitants whether Free Settlers or Convicts; It will form also a Branch of your Investigation to point out whether, in a Population so compounded as that of New South Wales, it be consistent with safety to dispense with any of those more severe provisions, which have frequently given rise to complaints, and which cannot but be irksome to the Free Inhabitants of the Colony.

You will also turn your Attention to the possibility of diffusing throughout the Colony adequate means of Education and Religious Instruction, bearing always in mind in your suggestions that these two Branches ought in all Cases to be inseparably connected. The Agricultural and Commercial Interests of the Colony will further require your Attentive Consideration. With respect to them, you will both report to me their actual State and the means by which you consider they can be most readily promoted. It cannot fail to have struck you that many of the Colonial Regulations are at variance with the general Principles, by an Adherence to which such Interests are usually advanced. Among those which in this point of view must have appeared of very questionable Expediency, I would more particularly refer to the Authority which the Governor has hitherto exercised of fixing the Prices of Staple Commodities in the Market, and of selecting the Individuals who shall be permitted to supply Meat to the Government Stores. With respect to these Regulations, you will investigate how far their Repeal is likely to lead to any General Inconvenience or to any Public Loss. I am aware that when the Colony was first established the necessity of husbanding the scanty means of Supply, and regulating its Issue, might justify an Interference on the part of the Government, but now that the Quantity of Land in cultivation is so much increased, and the number of cultivators proportionately enlarged, so as to preclude on the one hand all fear of want, and on the other a General Combination of all the Cultivators against the Government, I confess that I have great reason to doubt the expediency of these Regulations. At the same time, I feel unwilling to recommend so material an Alteration without some examination on the spot as to its probable Effects. It will therefore be for you to report to me whether the Markets may not be freed either gradually or all at once from such restriction, whether the Competition of Traders will not here as elsewhere produce the most beneficial Effects, and whether the Government Stores may not be supplied (as in other Colonies) by Public Tender, with equal Advantage both to the Public and to the Individual Cultivator.

Another Subject of enquiry will be the propriety of permitting in future a Distillation of Spirits within the Colony. From the access, which you have had to the Correspondence, you are aware of the Grounds upon which this measure has been so frequently recommended by the Local Government, and of those reasons which have induced His Majesty's Government hitherto to withhold their Sanction; I need not therefore enter into the details of this Discussion. The main question, now at issue, is whether a Distillation of Spirits in the Colony could be so checked and controlled as to prevent the indiscriminate and unrestrained Dissemination of Ardent Spirits throughout a Population, too much inclined already to an immoderate use of them, and too likely to be excited by the use of them to Acts of Lawless Violence; and to this your enquiry in this particular will be principally directed.

It will not be unimportant for you to enquire into and report upon the actual and Probable Revenues of the Colony, whether they may be looked to hereafter as affording the means of defraying some part of the heavy expenditure annually incurred on account of New South Wales, and whether they are in any and in what cases susceptible of Increase without prejudice to the Prosperity and Welfare of the Settlements.

There is one other point also, which I cannot avoid recommending to your consideration, though I fear there is not much prospect of your being able to reconcile that difference of opinion which has prevailed in the Colony. I allude to the Propriety of admitting into Society Persons, who originally came to the Settlement as Convicts. The Opinion, entertained by the Governor and sanctioned by The Prince Regent, has certainly been with some few exceptions, in favor of their reception at the expiration of their several Sentences upon terms of perfect Equality with the Free Settlers. But I am aware that the Conduct of the Governor in this respect, however approved by the Government at home, has drawn down upon him the Hostility of many persons, who hold association with Convicts under any circumstances to be a degradation. Feelings of this kind are not easily overcome, but I should be unwilling to forego the possibility of reconciling the conflicting opinions on this subject by not adverting to it as a proper question for your consideration.

I forbear to enter into a variety of other minor points of detail, which will necessarily fall under the several Heads of enquiry which I have pointed out to you, because I am confident that no important point will be left unnoticed in the report which you may ultimately furnish, and that you will be as anxious to afford, as His Majesty's Government are to receive, every Information necessary to form an opinion with respect to the Police, the Agriculture, the Commerce, the Revenue, or the State of Society in the Settlements, to which you are about to proceed.

I have, &c.,            


[From: Historical Records of Australia, Volume 10, pp. 805-8.]

{1} {return}

A special Commissioner.

The conclusion of the Napoleonic wars enabled the British government to pay more attention to the development of the colonies. The colony had been established under Governor Phillip purely as a penal settlement. Major Grose and captain Paterson had carried on the administration from the time of Phillip's departure to the arrival of Governor Hunter. During this period certain individuals, chiefly of the military party, commenced to acquire wealth. Hunter in his government was confronted with a new problem in the birth of vested interests. The clash of these interests with the idea of a penal settlement and the misrepresentations that were made to England caused Hunter's recall. He was succeeded by Governor King, who met with a similar fate, to be in turn succeeded by Governor Bligh. By this time, the party which had caused the unrest had become stronger, and Bligh's government, therefore, terminated in his deposition. Governor Macquarie was sent to reorganise the colony. He attempted to elaborate the idea of a penal settlement. He discouraged the immigration of free settlers. He adopted his policy for the encouragement of emancipists; but this policy assisted in the removal of some of the terrors of transportation. At the same time, the settlers, who had adopted the colony as their home, agitated for various reforms, and adverse representations were made against Macquarie's administration. It is probable that the colonial office was in a quandary as to the merits and demerits of the colony as a penal settlement, of the agitations for reform, and of the principles of Macquarie's administration, and that for this reason the appointment of a commissioner of enquiry was made.

{2} {return}

Mr. John Thomas Bigge.

John Thomas Bigge was the second son of Thomas Charles Bigge, of Long Benton, Northumberland, and was born in the year 1780. He was educated at Newcastle Grammar school, Westminster school, and Christ Church, Oxford. He graduated B.A. in 1801 and M.A. in 1804, and two years later was admitted a barrister of the Inner Temple. After some practice at the bar, he was appointed, in 1815, chief justice and judge of the vice-admiralty court at Trinidad. He had thus acquired some colonial experience before his appointment to the commission of inquiry into the state of New South Wales. His report caused much bitterness in the colony, and he was publicly accused even of causing Macquarie's early death. Shortly after his return to England from this inquiry, he was given a similar commission to inquire into the state of Cape Colony, where he did excellent work in exposing the corruption amongst the officials employed there. This mission lasted for several years; during that time his leg was injured by a fall from a horse, and for two years he was under the treatment of a quack, who turned out to be a female. He died in the year 1843.

{3} {return}

It was an object here of peculiar Apprehension.

In the year 1718 a statute, 4 Geo. I, c. 11, was passed, which authorised transportation, and established the machinery for carrying it into effect. It provided that this punishment should be substituted for branding and whipping, and that, in cases of death sentences, the King might commute the punishment to transportation for life or a fixed period to some part of the American colonies. It was further provided that prisoners so sentenced should be conveyed, transferred and made over "to the use of any persons contracting for their transportation, to them and their assigns," for the term of their sentence. The convicts thus became the property of the contractors, upon whom no restrictions were placed as to the manner of dealing with such property. The contractors, who were usually shipowners, sold the convicts as virtual slaves to the highest bidder, as soon as they were landed in the American colonies. The colonial masters of convicts made them work in the fields together with the black slaves, and they were equally punished with the lash for idleness and disobedience. The horrors of such a system naturally created a dread of transportation.

By an order in council, dated 6th December, 1786, this system was made applicable to the territory of New South Wales. But the practice of selling the convicts on arrival at the place of transportation was never adopted. In its stead, a ship was chartered, the convicts were assigned to the owners or master, who at the time of assignation agreed for a nominal sum to re-transfer the services of the convicts to the governor or lieutenant-governor at the port of debarkation. Whilst the colony was in its infancy, and reports were received in England of hardships endured, of subsisting on reduced rations, and being clothed in rags, the thought of transportation to Botany bay, as the settlements were commonly known, was dreaded, and acted as a deterrent to crime. But when stories of prosperity, and of wealth rapidly acquired by convicts and ex-convicts, reached England, the dread rapidly disappeared. The attempt to revive this fear was the cause of the rigorous systems adopted at Norfolk island, at Port Arthur and Macquarie harbour, Tasmania, and Port Macquarie, N.S.W.

{4} {return}

My Letter to Lord Sidmouth.

The letter to Lord Sidmouth was dated "Downing Street, 23rd April, 1817," and was as follows:—

"My Lord,

"I have for some time past had under consideration the present State of the Settlements in New South Wales, principally with a view of satisfying myself whether they are now calculated to answer the object, for which they were originally established, or whether it might not be expedient to introduce some alteration in the existing system.

"Until a recent period the Transportation of Offenders to New South Wales appears to have answered in a very great degree the ends, for the Attainment of which it was adopted. The many instances of persons returning from Transportation and becoming afterwards useful Members of Society here, and the far more numerous Cases in which Convicts, after the expiration of their Sentences, became industrious Settlers in the Colony, are sufficient to prove the Efficacy of the System in its Infancy, as far at least as regarded the Improvement and Reform of the Offenders. So long as the Colony was principally inhabited by Convicts and but little advanced in Cultivation, the strictness of the Police Regulations, and the Constant Labour under due restriction, to which it was then possible to subject the Convicts, rendered Transportation as a punishment an object of the greatest Apprehension to those who looked upon strict Discipline and Regular Labour as the most severe and the least tolerable of Evils.

"It was not long however before the Settlements were found to hold out to many Individuals inducements to become cultivators, and thirty Years' experience of the Climate and Fertility of the Soil has for some time past rendered a permission to settle in New South Wales an object of anxious solicitude to all, who were desirous of leaving their Native Country and had capital to apply to the Improvement of Land. This System together with the Number of Convicts, who after the Expiration of their Sentences remain with their respective Families growing up under them, has so increased the population of Free Settlers that the prosperity of the Settlement as a Colony has proportionably advanced, and hopes may reasonably be entertained of its becoming perhaps at no distant period a valuable possession of the Crown. It is this very circumstance which appears to me to render it less fit for the object of its original Institution. The Settlers feel a Repugnance to submit to the Enforcement of regulations which, necessarily partaking much of the Nature of the Rules applicable to a Penitentiary, interfere materially with the exercise of those rights which they enjoyed in this Country, and to which as British Subjects they conceive themselves entitled in every part of His Majesty's Dominions. The greatest Objection however to the present system arises from a cause over which Regulations in the Settlement will not have any immediate Control. During latter Years, the Number of Convicts annually transported has increased beyond all Calculation, as will appear by a Reference to the enclosed Return; and I am apprehensive that Your Lordship will not be able to hold out any expectation that the Crimes to be punished by Transportation will diminish in Magnitude or Frequency, or that the Numbers to be transported will in this or indeed in succeeding Years be less considerable. This continued Influx must annually increase the Difficulty, which has long began to be experienced of enforcing on the Convicts such a strict Discipline, both as to Labour and Deportment, as is essentially necessary to make Transportation answer the purpose either of Punishment or Reform. The Difficulty of finding Regular Employment for them has been such that it has been the practice of Late Years to grant Tickets of Leave, almost without exception, to those who had any prospect of obtaining a Livelihood by their own exertions, and also to place a greater proportion as Servants in the Families of Free Settlers. In the former Case, the Convicts could be subjected to little more than a nominal Restraint; and, in the latter, it is obvious that with less regular Labour they must enjoy a freedom inconsistent with the Object proposed in transporting them. Another Evil resulting from the increased Number is the great Difficulty of subjecting any of the Convicts to constant Superintendance either during the Hours of work or Relaxation; and the necessity of leaving to a large proportion of them the care of providing themselves with their own Lodging during the night from the inadequacy of Public Buildings, allotted to their Reception, forms one of the most formidable objections to the present system. These Evils, and more especially the Last, have been recently brought under my Consideration by various persons, and also by the Governor, who has coupled his Representations with a Recommendation that Buildings should be erected for the reception of all the Convicts; but the heavy expence of such a Work, if it be intended that the New Buildings should encrease with the encreasing Number of persons to be lodged in them, has induced me to decline my sanction to this Recommendation except to a very limited Extent. I am not however the less sensible of the Evil, nor can I conceal from myself that Transportation to New South Wales is becoming neither an object of Apprehension here nor the means of Reformation in the Settlement itself, and that the Settlement must be either placed upon a footing that shall render it possible to enforce, with respect to all the Convicts, strict Discipline, Regular Labour, and constant Superintendance, or the System of unlimited Transportation to New South Wales must be abandoned. I do not feel at present prepared to decide upon the Alternative, which it may be expedient to recommend; but, thinking it necessary as a preliminary to such a Decision that the actual State of the Settlements in New South Wales should be distinctly ascertained and that Information should without Delay be procured both as to the Means, by which it is practicable to remedy the existing Evils, and as to the Charge, which such an undertaking might bring upon the public, I propose (should it meet with Your Lordship's Concurrence) to recommend to His Royal Highness The Prince Regent the appointment of Commissioners, who shall forthwith proceed to the Settlements, with full power to investigate all the Complaints which have been made both with respect to the Treatment of the Convicts and the General Administration of the Government, and to report to His Royal Highness The Improvements and Alterations of which the present System appears to them to be susceptible, and the Charge which their Adoption may bring upon the Public.

"I have, &c.,            


"NUMBER of Convicts sent to New South Wales from England between January, 1810, and January, 1817, distinguishing the Number in each.

   Males    Females
1810  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 200 120
1811  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 400 99
1812  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 400 127
1813  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 500 119
1814  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 800 232
1815  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 880 101
1816  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 998 101
——— ——
Total   4,178 899

"N.B.—The above is exclusive of Convicts sent from Ireland, which within the Seven Years have amounted to about 1,400 Male and Female."



[Source: Historical Records of Australia, Volume 10, pp. 671-706.]


(Despatch acknowledged by Earl Bathurst, 10th September, 1822.)

London, 27 July, 1822.   

My Lord,

1. Although my proceedings in the administration of the Government of New South Wales have been, from time to time, submitted to His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, a Synopsis of their prominent features may yet be acceptable to your Lordship, as the most convenient review of my Correspondence with your predecessors; which, as well as the early part of my Despatches addressed to your Lordship, may, at this distance of time, be less familiar to you than other and more weighty affairs constantly pressing on your attention.

2. I found the Colony barely emerging from infantile imbecility, and suffering from various privations and disabilities; the Country impenetrable beyond 40 miles from Sydney; Agriculture in a yet languishing state; commerce in its early dawn; Revenue unknown; threatened by famine; distracted by faction; the public buildings in a state of dilapidation and mouldering to decay; the few Roads and Bridges, formerly constructed, rendered almost impassable; the population in general depressed by poverty; no public credit nor private confidence; the morals of the great mass of the population in the lowest state of debasement, and religious worship almost totally neglected.

3. Part of these Evils may perhaps be ascribed to the Mutiny of the 102d Regiment, the arrest of Governor Bligh, and the distress occasioned to the Settlers by the then recent floods of the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers, from whose banks chiefly the Colony was at that time supplied with Wheat.

4. Such was the state of New South Wales, when I took charge of its administration on the 1st of Jany., 1810. I left it, in February last, reaping incalculable advantages from my extensive and important discoveries in all directions, including the supposed insurmountable barrier called the Blue Mountains, to the westward of which are situated the fertile plains of Bathurst, and, in all respects, enjoying a state of private comfort and public prosperity, which I trust will at least equal the expectation of His Majesty's Government. This change may indeed be ascribed in part to the natural operation of time and events on individual enterprize. How far it may be attributed to measures originating with myself, as hereinafter detailed, and my zeal and judgment in giving effect to my instructions, I humbly submit to His Majesty and his Ministers.

5. One of my first acts was to relieve the Colony from the horrors of impending famine, the quantity of Wheat then in Store being less than a hundred Bushels. Its immediate wants were promptly supplied by my authorizing the purchase of a Cargo of Wheat from Bengal, which providentially arrived at that time; and foreseeing a scarcity in the ensuing year, I did not hesitate to contract for another Cargo at 8s. p. Bushell, being 2s. a Bushell under the price at which Wheat was turned into Store by the settlers.

6. To avert the recurrence of similar effects from similar causes, I ordered large tracts of land on high grounds, and out of the reach of floods, to be forthwith cultivated with Wheat and Maize Crops. As an encouragement to the Settlers in the furtherance of this plan, I issued Cattle to them on Credit from the Government Herds; and as a further inducement to those Settlers living on the Banks of the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers, I established several townships in convenient situations and near the Banks of those Rivers, to which those, whose farms were subject to floods, might occasionally retire with their cattle and grain, and where they might build their Dwelling-houses and Barns, etc., in safety. Few of the small Settlers being at this time possessed of any Horned Cattle, I considered it good policy to diffuse that species of Stock as much as possible amongst them, not only for their own comfort, but also with the view of creating a competition with the Richer Settlers and large Stock Holders, who at that period had the exclusive advantage of supplying the King's Stores with Animal food, the price of which was then Nine Pence per pound.

7. My next object of attention was the general amelioration of the Colony and the improvement and reformation of the manners and morals of the Inhabitants. To reward merit, encourage virtue, and punish vice, wherever I found them, without regard to rank, class or description of persons, be they free people or convicts, appeared to me unerring principles in prosecuting this desirable end.

8. Finding, on my arrival, many persons free, who had come out originally as Convicts, and sustaining unblemished characters since their emancipation, but treated with rudeness, contumely, and even oppressed, as far as circumstances permitted, by those who had come out free and viewed with illiberal jealousy the honest endeavours of the others to attain and support a respectable station in Society, I determined to counteract this envious disposition in one Class, by admitting, in my demeanour and occasional marks of favour to both, no distinction where their merits, pretensions, and capacities were equal. I considered this as the first step towards a general reformation of the manners and habits of the motley part of the population of New South Wales, as it then existed; and I am happy to add that twelve years experience of its effects has fully justified my most sanguine anticipations.

9. With this view I also used every means, both by precept and example as far as my influence extended, to inspire a religious feeling amongst all Classes of the Community; to excite sentiments of morality; and to inculcate habits of temperance and industry. I recommended, in the most impressive manner, a diligent attendance at Divine Worship on Sundays, and that Marriage should take place of and supersede the disgraceful and immoral state of Concubinage, which I found generally prevailing on my arrival in the Colony. These injunctions, I am happy to say, were very generally attended to, Marriage as well as a more regular attendance on Divine Worship having soon become conspicuously prevalent.

10. For the benefit of the rising generation and the youth of the Colony, I established additional Schools at Sydney, and in all the principal Districts in the interior of the Colony.

11. The decayed and dilapidated state of all the public Buildings, both at Sydney and the subordinate Settlements, and the State of the public roads and Bridges throughout the Colony also claimed my early attention; but the resources then under my controul were very inadequate to repairs and improvements of that nature. My plans were circumscribed and my progress retarded accordingly.

12. At that time, there were no Colonial Funds to defray the expense of constructing such works, and there were then very few Convict Artificers or Labourers in the Colony. I was therefore under the necessity of getting some of these works by contracting with private individuals. The first public roads and Bridges, constructed in the Colony, and also the Colonial General Hospital and a few other public Buildings, were of this description. But, since the existence of a Colonial Revenue, and after so great an increase of Convict Artificers and Labourers as has taken place within the last seven years, all the public Buildings in the Colony (with very few exceptions) have been erected by the Government Artificers and Labourers, as have also all the roads and Bridges.

13. To enumerate or particularize the several public Buildings erected, and various other improvements made throughout the Territory and its dependent Settlements, in this Report, would occupy too large a portion of your Lordship's valuable time. I therefore herewith do myself the honor to transmit to your Lordship, in the form of an Appendix, a detailed List or Schedule of all the Public Buildings erected and improvements made during the period of my administration of the Colony, to which Document I respectfully beg leave to call your Lordship's particular attention, as from the perusal of it, your Lordship will be the better able to appreciate the value and importance of these Works, as well as of the labor bestowed upon them. I also do myself the honor to transmit to your Lordship herewith, in further elucidation of the Works in question, a Port Folio containing the plans of the principal public Buildings erected in the Colony during my administration, exclusive of those at subordinate Settlements.

14. I have much satisfaction in having it in my power to state to your Lordship that the progressive improvement and internal resources of the Colony, in the great increase of the Flocks and Herds, and in the quantity of ground cleared and brought into Tillage, keep pace with the great increase of population, as your Lordship will see by the following comparative Statement, namely,—

Statement of population, &c. in March, 1810, on the first general
Muster and Survey after my arrival in the Colony.
Population, including the 73d and 102d Regiments 11,590
Horned Cattle 12,442
Sheep 25,888
Hogs 9,544
Horses 1,134
Acres of Land cleared and in Tillage under various Crops      7,615
And in October, 1821, on the last general Muster and Survey before my departure.
Population, including the Military 38,778
Horned Cattle 102,939
Sheep 290,158
Hogs 33,906
Horses 4,564
Acres of Land cleared and in Tillage under various Crops 32,267

15. Trade and Manufactures have not increased in the same ratio as Agriculture and Grazing; but a very considerable Trade has been carried on for some years past, both at port Jackson and at the Derwent in Van Dieman's Land; and some useful branches of Manufactures have been established at Sydney, namely Woolen-Cloth and Linen, Hats, Boots, and Shoes, Tanning of Leather, Stockings, and Common Pottery. But now that Vessels of small Burthen are permitted to trade direct between England and New South Wales, and that Distillation of Spirits is to be allowed in the Colony, both Trade and Manufactures will increase rapidly; and this Colony will, at no very distant period, vie in trade and opulence with many others in His Majesty's Dominions.

16. On my taking the Command of the Colony in the Year 1810, the amount of Port Duties did not exceed Eight thousand pounds p. annum, and there were only Fifty or Sixty pounds of Balance in the Treasurer's hands. But now Duties are collected at Port Jackson to the amount of from Twenty eight to Thirty thousand pounds per Annum. In addition to this Annual Colonial Revenue, there are Port Duties collected at Hobart-Town and George Town in Van Dieman's Land, to the amount of between Eight and Ten thousand pounds per annum.

17. The credit of the Colony was also very low, when I arrived, on account of the base paper Currency, which was then the only circulating Medium, the lowest and most profligate persons issuing their Notes of Hand in payment of Goods purchased, without having the means of redeeming them when due. This terrified Traders, and prevented them from having any regular intercourse with Port Jackson: the practice became a very serious evil, and many persons were ruined by it. A temporary relief was however afforded by the circulation of Ten thousand pounds in Dollars, which His Majesty's Government sent out for the use of the Colony.

18. But the evil was only partially cured by that means. I therefore, after mature deliberation and consultation with the best informed persons in the Colony, determined on forming and establishing a Colonial Bank in the year 1817, granting a Charter under certain limitations and restrictions. In framing the charter and the necessary regulations, I was most ably assisted by Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, and my Secretary, Mr. John Thomas Campbell; to both of whom I feel greatly indebted for the trouble they took on that occasion. This measure has been productive of the most important and beneficial consequences to the Colony at large, which was thus rescued from the state of Bankruptcy into which it was declining fast; its credit raised at Foreign ports; and an incalculable accommodation rendered to every Individual in the Country. In short, I consider the Establishment of this Bank to be the saving of the Colony from Ruin, and consequently the greatest benefit that could be conferred upon it at the time the measure was adopted.

19. With the view of simplifying and rendering more practical, the several Colonial Orders and Regulations framed and issued by my predecessors in Office, Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, at my request, collated and formed a Digest {149} of them, some little time previously to my being relieved, omitting all those, which had become obsolete or which had been repealed by subsequent regulations. This I consider a very important work, and I feel particularly obliged to Mr. Wylde for the trouble he took in framing and digesting it in so clear a manner. By these Colonial regulations (most of which have been framed by myself), I have been guided principally in my administration, and I trust with no inconsiderable benefit to the Colony. Herewith I do myself the honor of transmitting, for your Lordship's perusal and information, the Book containing the Digest of the Colonial regulations and Orders herein adverted to, submitting it to your Lordship's superior judgment to confirm them in whole or in part, as may appear most adviseable for the good of the Colony.

20. Considering the poor Black Natives or Aborigines of the Colony entitled to the peculiar protection of the British Government, on account of their being driven from the Sea Coast by our settling thereon, and subsequently occupying their best Hunting Grounds in the Interior, I deemed it an act of justice, as well as of Humanity, to make at least an attempt to ameliorate their condition and to endeavour to civilize them in as far as their wandering habits would admit of.

21. With this view, I called a general meeting or Congress of the Natives inhabiting the Country lying between the Blue Mountains and Port Jackson. This Meeting took place accordingly at the Town of Parramatta on the 28th of December, 1814, when several propositions were made to the Natives in respect to their discontinuing their present wandering predatory habits and becoming regular Settlers.

22. It was also proposed to them to send their Children to School, at a Seminary I intended to establish immediately for that express purpose.

23. Many of the Natives agreed to take Lands and settle permanently on them, and they all seemed highly pleased with the idea of sending their children to school. It was therefore determined to establish and open the Native Institution for Educating and Civilizing the Children of the Aborigines on the 18th of the ensuing Month of January, when several of the Natives promised to bring in their children, which they did; and the Institution {150} was accordingly established on the day above mentioned under the superintendence of Mr. William Shelly, a pious, sober and steady good man, who had come out originally as one of the Church Missionary Society.

24. This Institution has fully answered the purpose for which it was established, it having proved that the children of the Natives have as good and ready an aptitude for learning as those of Europeans, and that they are also susceptible of being completely civilized.

25. I limited the number of children to be received into the Institution to Twenty four, as the expense of maintaining a greater number at one time would be very considerable, one half of whom to be male, and the other female. The progress, these Black Children have made in their Education, has been a subject of astonishment to every one, who has ever visited the Institution. It has also had the good effect of completely conciliating the good will and friendship of all the native tribes to the British Government, and of securing the most friendly and social intercourse with them. Three Girls, educated at the Native Institution, have already been married from thence to Native Youths, who have become Settlers.

26. The Adults, however, are naturally very indolent and averse to labor, and I had consequently great difficulty in prevailing on any of them to become regular Settlers. But determined to persevere in my endeavours to civilize these poor inoffensive Human Beings, I at length prevailed on Five different Tribes to become Settlers, giving them their choice of situations. Three of the Tribes chose to settle on the Shores of Port Jackson in the vicinity of Sydney, on account of the conveniency of fishing, for which purpose I furnished them with Boats and Fishing Tackle. The other two Tribes preferred taking their Farms in the Interior, from the produce of which they now maintain themselves, and appear much pleased with their change of condition; and their good example I hope will in due time reconcile many of the other adult Native Blacks to become Settlers. I appointed the 28th of December of each year for a general Meeting or Congress of all the Natives, which they have regularly attended, upwards of 300 having been present at the last Annual Congress at Parramatta. Annual congress of natives.

27. Having often viewed and considered with regret and compassion the wretched and neglected state of a great number of helpless illegitimate Orphan Children, consigned to want and misery by their unnatural and unfeeling Parents, and the consequent necessity of victualling numbers of that description from the King's Stores, I was induced to form and establish an Asylum for their relief, maintenance and education, to be supported from the Colonial Revenue in the same manner as the Female Orphan and Native Institutions are.

28. I accordingly established a Male Orphan Institution at Sydney on the 1st of January, 1819, under certain Rules, Regulations and Restrictions limiting the Orphans at first to be received into the Institution to Sixty Boys; but which it was afterwards found expedient to increase to Eighty, of which number it at present consists. Mr. Bowden, who came out free from England as a Schoolmaster, was considered a fit person to take the charge of this Institution, and he was accordingly appointed Master of it. The Female Orphans having been removed from the Town of Sydney to the New Building erected for their residence and accomodation at Parramatta on the 30th of June, 1818, the House {151} formerly occupied by them at Sydney was allotted for the Male Orphan Institution, the House and Offices being repaired, improved and perfectly fitted up for that purpose.

29. The Establishment of this Institution, altho' it adds somewhat to the Expences of the Colony, I reckoned then and do now a measure of primary importance, and, as connected with the Female Orphan Institution, is likely to prove of incalculable benefit to the moral and Religious habits of the Rising Generation, to whom the Colony of New South Wales must chiefly look forward for the formation of a moral and respectable Society.

30. The Children, who have already been admitted into this Institution, have made a rapid progress in their Education. They are taught Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, and are also instructed, even before they quit the Institution, in some of the most simple and useful Trades suitable to their years, such as Tailoring and Shoe-making; and as specimens of their proficiency in those two Trades, I take the liberty of sending for your Lordship's inspection a Box containing some articles of Dress and Shoes made by the Boys belonging to the Institution, none of whom exceed thirteen years of age.

31. Besides this Male Orphan Institution, there is a large Public Charity School at Sydney, which I established immediately after my arrival in the Colony for the benefit of poor Children, whose Parents did not possess the means of educating them; but the Government are at no Expence in feeding or clothing these Children, they being only what are called Day-Scholars.

32. The great number of Paupers, aged, infirm, and old Men and Women, many of whom are both lame and blind and without any permanent provision, unavoidably entailed on Government a very heavy expence in victualling the greater part of them from the King's Store; but, being houseless as well as pennyless, they still went about begging and often sleeping out at nights in the open air. I was therefore induced to have a comfortable House and Offices erected at the expence of Government, as an Asylum for those unfortunate persons, the Government now only victualling from the Store such as came out originally as Convicts.

33. The system, I have invariably pursued in respect to the treatment, management and appropriation of Convicts, your Lordship I believe is already well acquainted with. But I may add here that I have always endeavoured in my treatment of them to temper Justice with Humanity, without any positive remission of the punishment awarded to them by the offended laws of their Country.

34. On their arrival, they were distributed amongst such Settlers as required them, without favor or partiality, the Government only retaining such useful Mechanics and proportion of Labourers, as were required for carrying on the Public Works. But the influx of Male Convicts for the last Five years has been so great and so very far exceeding that of former years that the Settlers had not employment for above an eighth of the number, that annually arrived in the Colony, the remaining seven eighths being left to be maintained and employed by Government. Hence it became necessary to employ this large surplus of Men in some useful manner, so that their labour might in some degree cover the expence of their feeding and clothing.

35. I accordingly employed numerous Gangs of them in all parts of the Colony in repairing the old public Roads and Bridges, and in constructing new ones. I also established a Government Agricultural Farm on "Emu Plains", one of the richest and most fertile tracts of Land in the whole Colony, appointing Mr. Richard Fitzgerald to be Superintendant and Inspector of Government Agriculture, for which situation he is eminently qualified, being a most honest upright good man and perfectly well acquainted with all the branches of Agriculture, having been employed several years in the same situation by my Predecessors, Governors Phillip, Hunter and King, all of whom were highly pleased with his conduct.

36. To this Establishment were sent those Convicts, who were not required for the Settlers, for the Public Roads and Bridges or other Government purposes. They are there most usefully employed in productive Labour, which, from the most correct calculation, more than repays to Government {93} the amount of their maintenance and all the other expences of the Establishment, there being 300 Convicts employed there on the 30th of November last.

37. This tract of Land is so extremely fertile, and so peculiarly well situated for a Government Agriculture Establishment, and so useful as a Nursery for instructing the younger description of Convicts in the art of Husbandry, as well as so valuable in many other points of view to Government, that I cannot resist the desire of most respectfully recommending to your Lordship never to permit this fine tract of Land to be alienated from the Crown and to instruct the present and all future Governors accordingly. 38. In respect to the Expences of the Colony, I am sincerely sorry to say I cannot report that they are on the decrease; on the contrary I fear they will continue to increase, as long as such large bodies of Convicts are sent out thither annually; for your Lordship must be fully aware that the principal part of the present expence of the Colony is incurred in feeding, clothing and lodging the Male and Female Convicts. At the same time, it must not be forgotten that a very considerable expence is incurred in the support of the Civil, Military and Marine Establishments, and also in victualling, for a certain period, Free Settlers, their Families and Convict Labourers. It has ever been my most anxious wish to reduce the expences, as much as possible, by every means in my power, and have often incurred the ill will of the great Graziers and Holders of Stock by my anxiety on this head.

39. In 1810, on my taking charge of the Government, I found the price of Meat, delivered and supplied for the use of the King's Store, at nine pence Sterling per pound. In a few years afterwards, I reduced it to eight pence, then to seven pence, then to six pence, and finally to five pence p. pound, which was the price paid by the Government when I delivered over charge of it to Sir Thomas Brisbane. The Graziers can afford to supply the King's Store at this last price very well, and with a handsome profit; it is true they generally complain it is too low a price; but such of them, as are candid, allow it to be a liberal one. A reduction of one penny in the pound of meat, effected without injury to the Grazier, is a great object to the Government in victualling such a number of people.

40. For instance, at the time of my being relieved, there were upwards of 6,000 full Rations issued from the different King's Stores in the Colony, and a great number of those, so victualled, receive a full Ration and a half, in consideration of their being kept at work the whole of the day; but supposing that only Six thousand pounds of animal food are issued daily from the King's Stores in the Colony, the saving to Government at one Penny per Pound would be annually no less a sum than Nine thousand one hundred and twenty five pounds, Stg.; so that had I continued the price of Animal Food at Nine pence per pound, as I found it, the expences of the Colony at the present moment would be at least Thirty six thousand and five hundred (£36,500) pounds Sterling more than it is.

41. Exclusively of this great reduction in the price of Animal Food, large quantities of Beef from the Government Tame Herds have annually been supplied for the King's Stores to lessen the expences. I adopted this also as a resource for counteracting the great Stock-holders, when they appeared disposed to hold back their supplies with the view of forcing the Government to raise the price.

42. Thus the Tame Herds of Cattle, belonging to the Crown, are a great and powerful check to the Graziers by preventing monopolies and combinations to raise the price; since the King's Stores can thus on any emergency be supplied from the Government Herds for five or six weeks without materially decreasing the female or breeding stock.

43. When I took the command of the Colony in January, 1810, the Government Tame Herds and Flocks consisted only 3,483 head of Horned Cattle, and 693 Head of Sheep; but notwithstanding the numerous and heavy Draughts made from them during my Administration to Settlers and other persons on credit, and also the great number supplied to the King's Stores at the different Settlements, there remained on the 1st of December last, at the period of my resignation, no less than 5,049 Head of Horned Cattle and 2,098 Head of Sheep.

44. In this number are included 872 Head reclaimed from the Wild Herds between the 1st of December, 1819 (when that operation commenced) and the 1st of December, 1821, which were accordingly incorporated with the Tame Herds.

45. These reclaimed 872 Head of Wild Cattle, supposing them only to weigh 400 pounds each (which is considerably under their average weight) at the rate of 5d. per pound will give £7,266 13s. 4d., which is also a saving to Government, deducting the trifling expence of reclaiming them, as all these reclaimed Cattle are fit to be turned into Store when necessary. In addition to the 872 Head of Wild Cattle, incorporated with the Tame Herds, 178 Wild Bulls were shot for the sake of their Hides, which were useful in the Stores and Work Shops.

46. In order further to reduce the expences of the Colony, I attempted at one plentiful season to reduce the price of Wheat to eight shillings per Bushel, but, on consultation with the most experienced Farmers in the Colony and my own subsequent observation, I was perfectly satisfied that the grower of Grain would be a loser at that price; and, the Magistrates having furnished me with their opinions to the same effect, I allowed the former price of ten shillings a bushel to be continued and paid afterwards.

47. I hope these endeavours on my part to reduce the public expences will prove to your Lordship that I was not unmindful of my duty on that important point. Had I remained longer in the administration of the Colony, I had it in contemplation to submit for your Lordship's consideration and approval the adoption of some measures that would certainly, if carried into effect, considerably reduce the present enormous expences. And should your Lordship signify to me your pleasure to that effect, I shall still be most happy to submit these measures verbally or in writing as your Lordship may prefer.

48. It may not be irrelevant, while on the subject of the expences of the Colony, to mention that one Eighth part of the Colonial Revenue, by my regulations, is paid quarterly into the hands of the treasurer of the male and female Orphan Institutions, for the support of those two Establishments and for the support of the several Charity Schools; but now it is my opinion that one sixteenth part of the Colonial revenue will be quite sufficient for those purposes in future.

49. I have thus briefly touched upon the principal measures of my Administration, which according to my judgment were the best calculated to ensure the general improvement of the Colony and the prosperity and happiness of its inhabitants; how far they have succeeded in the attainment of these important objects may be judged by a comparison of what the Colony is now and what it was twelve years ago.

50. That the Colony has under my orders and regulations greatly improved in agriculture, trade, increase of Flocks and Herds and wealth of every kind; that the People build better Dwelling houses, and live more comfortably; that they are in a very considerable degree reformed in their moral and religious habits; that they are now less prone to Drunkenness, and more industrious; and that crimes have decreased, making due allowance for the late increase of Convict population; every candid, liberal minded man, at all acquainted with the history of the Colony for the last twelve years, will readily attest.

51. Turbulent Individuals, generally stumbling on the very threshold of the law, impatient of all restraint, and ever ready to asperse the most temperate administration of the most wholesome regulations, are found in the best ordered communities; unfortunately New South Wales had its share of them, and I am aware that my Administration has been represented by them as oppressive, and the people discontented.

52. Even my work of Charity, and, as it appeared to me, sound Policy in endeavoring to restore emancipated and reformed Convicts to a level with their fellow subjects, a work which, considered in either a religious or a political point of view, I shall ever value as the most meritorious part of my administration, has not escaped their animadversion.

53. They have further, as I understand, had the audacity to insinuate that I increased my fortune by improper means, while in the Administration of New South Wales. This I assert, on my honor, to be a falsehood, which, prepared as I was for their hostility, I little expected the most depraved and malignant of my enemies would have hazarded. The only change, that has taken place in my small fortune since I embarked for New South Wales in 1809, has been from accumulation by its interest during my absence and by my having in an evil hour authorized my Agents in this Country to convert my money into land.

54. The persons therefore and the malice of my Detractors are alike beneath my contempt; nor are the invectives, which on their authority have been so unsparingly, wantonly and unjustly heaped on my name and character in a public place, where more temper and discrimination might have been expected, entitled to more respect.

55. How far they have been merited, or to what extent my measures may have justly incurred the censure of any class of the Colonists or of their abettors at home, your Lordship has hitherto only been able to judge from my official dispatches; these have necessarily been deficient in minor points of contingent detail, which, although individually unimportant, were in the aggregate essentially conducive and highly interesting to the comfort and happiness of the people; and that the whole tenor of my conduct, both public and private, was very generally approved, I hope will appear by an address presented to me by the inhabitants of New South Wales, after I had resigned the Government, and when they were no longer awed by my authority, and another from the inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land on my last Tour of inspection there, which I have the honor of transmitting herewith for your Lordship's perusal.

56. I take the liberty of respectfully requesting that your Lordship will do me the honor to submit this report to His Majesty for his gracious consideration; and, in conclusion, I have to express my anxious and fervent hope that my long, faithful and arduous services will receive the approbation of my Gracious Sovereign, which, if accorded, will be to me the most gratifying and highest reward that can be bestowed upon them.

I have, &c.,

L. MACQUARIE, late Govr. in Chief of New South Wales.   

[Enclosure marked A.]

APPENDIX to the Report of Major General Lachlan Macquarie, late Governor of the Colony of New South Wales, being A List and Schedule of Public Buildings and Works {152} erected and other useful Improvements, made in the Territory of New South Wales and its Dependencies, at the expence of the Crown from the 1st of January, 1810, to the 30th of November, 1821, both inclusive; Vizt:—


1. Large Stone Built Provision Store and Granary, 4 Stories high.

2. Issuing Stone-Built Provision Store, 2d Granary and Office for Commissariat Department, two Stories high.

3. Range of Brick-built Barracks, two Stories high, with Lower Verandahs for the Troops, having accommodations for 1,000 Soldiers, and for the full proportion of Commissioned Officers, with a large handsome Mess-Room and necessary Out offices for the latter, and a large Area of Ground for a Parade, consisting of about Twelve Acres, with Store-Rooms, Cook-Rooms, School-Rooms, etc., etc., the whole of these Premises being surrounded with a strong Stone Wall ten feet high.

4. Military Hospital, Brick-built, two Stories high, having upper and lower Verandahs, with all the necessary Out offices for the accommodation of 100 Patients; the whole being enclosed with a Stone Wall or Stockade.

5. A Brick-built Barrack for the Accommodation of the Military Surgeon and one Assistant Surgeon.

6. The Quarters of the Lieutenant Governor repaired, altered and improved, with new Out offices added thereto, and enclosed with a high Brick Wall immediately adjoining the Military Barrack.

7. A large Stone-Built Colonial General Hospital, two Stories high, with all the requisite Out offices and Quarters for six Medical Officers, with upper and lower Verandahs round all the Buildings, having sufficient accommodations for 300 Patients, and Garden Ground for both the Medical Officers and Sick with Yards for Air and exercise, the whole of these Premises being enclosed with a Stone Wall nine feet high. These Buildings were erected by Contract.

8. A Brick-Built Dwelling House and Offices, three Stories high and stuccoed for the residence and accommodation of the Judge Advocate of the Territory with a Garden in front, enclosed with a Dwarf Brick Wall and Railing; Built by Contract.

9. A Brick-Built Dwelling House and Offices, two Stories high, for the residence and accomodation of the Secretary to the Governor, with a public Office and Record Room, enclosed by a Brick Dwarf Wall and Railing: built by Contract.

10. A Stone Built Dwelling House and Offices, two Stories high, for the residence and accomodation of the Senior Assistant Chaplain at Sydney with a good Kitchen Garden, and the Premises enclosed with a Brick Wall.

11. A Brick Built Commodious Main Guard House, situated in the center of the Town.

12. Another Brick built Guard house for the Governor's Guard, immediately adjoining the Government House.

13. A large Commodious Brick-Built Lumber Yard, situated nearly in the Center of the Town, containing all the requisite Workshops and covered in Saw-Pitts for the Mechanics and Artificers in the immediate Service of Government, with an Arsenal for Arms and Rooms for various Stores, and also Offices for the Acting Chief Engineer and Principal Superintendant of Convicts, having an extensive Area of Ground for Timber, and the whole Premises enclosed with a Stone Wall 12 feet high.

14. The old Dock Yard, enlarged and greatly improved with new Building and repairing Docks, Wharfs, Quays, Sail Rooms, and all the requisite Workshops, including Boat Houses, and also Offices for the Master Builder and Master Attendant of the Colonial Marine, the whole of the Premises being enclosed with a Stone Wall, 12 feet high.

15. A Stone-Built Barrack, contiguous to the Dock Yard, for the Coxswain and Crews of the Government Boats, enclosed with a high Stone Wall.

16. A Public Quay or Wharf of Stone, with a Wooden Jetty, Called "the King's Wharf" on the West side of Sydney Cove.

17. A Brick-Built one Story House as an Office for the Wharfinger, immediately adjoining the King's Wharf.

18. A Careening or Heaving Down Place for Ships and Vessels on the East side of Sydney Cove, with Ring Bolts, etc., etc., and where the Rocks form a natural Wharf.

19. A Stone-Built Watch-house for the residence of a Constable to guard and protect the Heaving Down Place.

20. The old Gaol new roofed, repaired and much improved, with new Rooms for the Debtors, Female Prisoners, and the Gaol Gang, and a large Yard in the rear of the Jail; the whole of the Premises being enclosed with a strong Stone Wall, 14 feet high.

21. A Brick-Built Barrack stuccoed for the Governor's Guard of Light Horse with Stabling for 16 Horses and a Garden enclosed with a Stone Dwarf Wall.

22. A Public "Market Place" in the Center of the Town with all the necessary Booths, Shops and Pens, and Stores for Grain, the Area consisting of about four acres of Ground, and the whole being enclosed with a Strong Paling.

23. Two large Stone Built Quays or Wharfs in "Cockle Bay", and contiguous to the Public Market Place for the accommodation of vessels and Boats coming with supplies for the Market; a good Street of communication between these Wharfs and the Public Market Place having been long since constructed.

24. Six District brick-built Watch Houses conveniently situated for Watchmen to maintain the Police of the Town.

25. Two Stone Arched Bridges Constructed across the Springs to connect the East and West sides of the Town of Sydney together.

26. A new Burial Ground at the southern extremity of the Town, consisting of four acres of Ground surrounded with a Brick Wall, it having been found necessary to condemn the old one in the Centre of the Town, which last however is now enclosed with a Brick Wall to preserve the Graves.

27. A large Barrack for Male Convicts in "Hyde Park", built of Brick, three Stories High, and sufficiently roomy to accomodate 800 Convicts with all the necessary Out Offices of Kitchens, Mess Rooms, Wash houses, Washing-Yard, etc., etc., including quarters for the Deputy Superintendant of Convicts, Overseers and other Attendants, the whole Building and Washing Yard being enclosed by a Stone Wall 14 feet in height.

28. Another Barrack (commonly called the Carters' Barracks) for 200 Male Convicts at the "Brick Fields", and also Stables for the whole of the Government Working Horses and Bullocks, with a Garden for the use of the convicts.

29. Another Barrack for 100 convict Boys with Mess Rooms and Kitchens, etc., contiguous to the other aforementioned Barrack at the Brick Fields, but separated by a High Party-Wall with Workshops for the employment of the Boys inhabiting the latter Barracks, the whole range of these Buildings being enclosed with a Strong Brick Wall of 12 feet high.

30. Another Barrack for 100 Convict Men and Boys at "Grose Farm", two Miles from Sydney, employed there In Agriculture on Government account. This Farm, which now belongs to Government and which consists of 300 Acres of Land, is completely enclosed with a strong five rail fence, and is extremely useful for furnishing Grain and Grass for the Government working Horses and Oxen.

31. Four Watch-houses for the protection of Grose Farm, and that part of the Parramatta Public Road leading from Sydney.

32. A very handsome Toll House and Toll Gate at the Southern extremity of the Town on the Public Road, leading from Sydney to Parramatta.

33. A large two Story high brick-built commodious House and Offices for the residence of the Judge of the Supreme Court, with a Garden in front enclosed with a Dwarf Wall.

34. A commodious and conveniently situated House and Offices, purchased for the Junior Assistant Chaplain at Sydney, built of cut Free Stone with a Garden attached, the premises being enclosed with a Paling.

35. A New handsome Church in Hyde Park, built of brick, with room for a congregation of 1,500 persons nearly completed.

36. A Charity School-House, brick built and two Stories high, composed of two separate parts, divided off by a Partition Wall, sufficiently roomy to accommodate 400 Male and 200 Female Scholars, with suitable Apartments for a Schoolmaster and School Mistress, the whole being surrounded by a high Stone Wall. This building is in great forwardness and will soon be completed.

37. An Asylum for 100 infirm aged, blind and lame, poor persons with Kitchen and other necessary Offices, including a Garden and recreation Ground, the whole premises being enclosed by a Brick Wall. This Building is situated at the Southern extremity of the Town in an airy situation.

38. The Old Church (at Sydney) repaired and greatly improved inside and out, with new Galleries and Pews to afford additional accommodation for the Congregation.

39. The former Female Orphan School-House now converted into a Male Orphan School House repaired, enlarged and greatly improved with a Garden attached to it, the whole premises being enclosed with a high Stone Wall.

40. A Square Stone built Fort, with four circular Bastions and a Bomb proof Powder Magazine, mounting 15 Guns on "Bennelong's Point" for the protection of the shipping in Sydney Cove.

41. A large Stone built Bomb-proof Powder Magazine at "Fort Phillip", enclosed with a high Stone Wall.

42. A New Guard-House (Stone built) at Dawses Battery, and the Battery itself greatly improved.

43. A Slaughter House on Dawse's Point on the edge of the water for slaughtering all the Cattle intended for the Public Stores.

44. The Government House repaired and improved with some few additional indispensable rooms for Public Entertainment, etc., etc.

45. A Government Garden made on "Farm Cove", consisting of five acres of Ground, enclosed partly by a Stone Wall and partly by a High Paling, with a Brick House for the accommodation of the Chief Gardener.

46. The Government Domain enclosed with a Stone Wall, dividing it from the Town across the Neck of Land between "Sydney Cove" and Wooloomooloo Bay.

47. A Road round the inside of the Government Domain always open for the recreation of the Inhabitants on foot.

48. A Causeway along the Head of Sydney Cove, leading to the careening place and to the Government Domain and New Fort on Bennelong's Point.

49. A Private Landing place for the Governor on Bennelong's Point.

50. A Public Stone Wharf or Quay on the East side of Sydney Cove, adjoining the Government Domain to replace the Old Wooden Government Wharf there (now totally decayed). This useful and highly necessary piece of work has only lately been commenced, but will soon be completed.

51. Allotment of about two acres of Ground, nearly in the center of the Town named "Macquarie Place", enclosed with a Dwarf Wall and Wooden railing planted with Shrubbery, and having a Stone Obelisk, erected in the Center of it, to measure the distances in Miles from to the different settlements in the interior of the Colony.

52. A Handsome Stone Fountain erected over a Spring in "Macquarie Place" for supplying that part of the Town with Water.

53. A Handsome Square Brick building, stuccoed, containing Coach house and Stables, with Apartments for Servants for the use of the Governor and his Staff.

54. A large Allotment of twelve Acres of Ground in "Hyde Park", and contiguous to the large convict Barrack enclosed with a high Brick Wall as a Garden for the use of the Convicts.

55. A large and suitable allotment of Ground (about 15 acres) on the South side of Port Jackson Harbour, two Miles from Sydney, marked out some time since for a Colonial "Botanical Garden" (at the recommendation of the Government Botanist), now clearing and enclosing with a strong Fence.

56. An Allotment of Ground (about six acres) at the southern extremity of the Town, enclosed with a Strong high Paling as a Garden for the use of the Troops, stationed at Sydney, with a House for the accomodation of the Gardener.

57. A Large New Brick-Built Market House in the Market Place, some time since commenced and now very near completed.

58. A Paddock of 20 acres of Ground at the Southern extremity of the Town, enclosed with a high strong Fence, for grazing and refreshing Sick Horses and Draught Cattle, belonging to Government, with Houses for the residence of the Overseers, Contiguous thereto.

59. The Foundation of an intended Church on a large scale in the Center of the Town (at the junction of "George Street" and "Bathurst Street"), the further progress of which was stopt at the desire of the Commissioner of Enquiry.

60. An Elegant Cut-Stone Circular Tower and Light House on the South Head of Port Jackson, enclosed with Stone Dwarf Wall and Railing, having separate Contiguous Barracks for the residence of the Keeper and Guard, Stationed there.

61. A Regular Telegraph stationed at the South Head to convey Signals to the Town.

62. A Dwelling House of two Stories and Offices for the residence of the Superintendant of Police, with a Commodious Police Office attached thereto, built of Brick and situated in nearly the Center of the Town, now in progress and in a great state of forwardness and will very soon be completed.

63. The Barrack of the Acting Chief Engineer, repaired and improved, with the necessary Offices added thereto and a Garden, the whole Premises being enclosed with a high Paling.

64. The Barrack of the Barrack Master, repaired and improved, with new additional Offices, the Premises being enclosed with a high Paling.

65. The whole of the Old Streets in the Town of Sydney enlarged and greatly improved, being remade with Stone and Gravel and sufficiently raised in the Center to carry off the Water to the Drains and Sewers, there being Foot paths on both sides of the Streets. There are also many new Streets opened and made for the more easy intercourse of the Inhabitants and for the Convenience of the Police.

66. Three separate Paddocks in the immediate vicinity of Sydney, each containing about 50 acres of Ground, enclosed with a strong Fence for raising Maize, Crops and English Grasses, for the use of the Government working Horses and Oxen.

67. A New large Elegant and Commodious Brick Built Court House, two stories high, with all the requisite apartments and Offices attached thereto and under the same Roof, in rapid progress and will very soon be completed.


1. The Old Church repaired, new roofed, lengthened and greatly improved, inside and out, new Chancel and Spire being added thereto, the Outer Walls stuccoed in imitation of Stone, and the Church Yard enclosed with a neat Paling.

2. The Old Burial Ground enlarged and enclosed with a Bank and Ditch.

3. A very Handsome Commodious Parsonage House, built of Brick and two Stories High, with suitable Offices. Garden and large Grazing Paddock, all enclosed with a Paling for the residence of the Principal Chaplain of the Colony.

4. A Large Handsome Brick Built House of 3 Stories High, with Wings and all the necessary Out offices for the accomodation and residence of 100 Female Orphans and for the Master and Matron of the Institution, having an extensive Garden and Orchard, and a Grazing Park or Paddock for Cattle attached thereto, the whole of the Premises being enclosed with a Strong Fence.

5. An Hospital built of brick, two Stories high, with an upper, and lower Verandah all round, with all the necessary Out offices for the residence and occupation of 100 Patients, with Ground for a Garden and for the Patients to take Air and exercise in, the whole of the Premises being enclosed with a High Strong Stockade.

6. The Old Gaol completely repaired, new roofed, and the Wards flagged and much improved, the Wall round the Gaol being also considerably raised.

7. A New Barrack built of Brick, two Stories high, for the accomodation of 100 Soldiers; with two Wings, also built of Brick, each one Story High, and with Verandahs for the accomodation of the full Proportion of Commissioned Officers; having likewise all the necessary Out Offices for Officers and Men, together with a Guard House and Store House, the whole of the Ground, consisting of about eight acres, being enclosed by a Brick Wall in Front and Stockade on the other three Sides.

8. A Brick Built Barrack of two Stories high tor the residence and accomodation of 150 Male Convicts, with Mess Rooms and all the necessary Out Offices; including House for the Superintendant attached thereto, the whole of the Premises being enclosed with a High Brick Wall, and having also a Garden immediately adjoining the said Wall for the use of the Convicts.

9. A New Brick Built Lumber Yard, with all descriptions of Work-Shops and Covered in Saw Pitts, for the different Artificers and Mechanics in the employ of Government, including Stables for the Working Horses and Bullocks, Hay-Lofts, and Store Rooms for Store and Grain, and also Offices for the Superintendant and his Clerks, the whole of these Premises being Contiguous to the Convict Barracks and enclosed with a high Brick Wall.

10. A Large Commodious handsome stone Built Barrack and Factory, three Stories high, with Wings of one Story each for the accomodation and residence of 300 Female Convicts, with all the requisite Out-Offices, including Carding, Weaving and Loom Rooms, Work-Shops, Stores for Wool, Flax, etc., etc.; Quarters for the Superintendant, and also a large Kitchen Garden for the use of the Female Convicts, and Bleaching Ground for Bleaching the Cloth and Linen Manufactured; the whole of the Buildings and said Grounds, consisting of about Four acres, beiug enclosed with a high Stone Wall and Moat or Wet Ditch. N.B.—This important and highly useful as well as necessary Building was erected by Contract.

11. The Old Government House repaired, enlarged and much improved by making it a double House and adding Wings to it, so as to afford sufficient accomodation for the Governor, his Family and Staff.

12. A New Stable and Coach House built of Brick for the use of the Governor and his Staff, detached at a little distance from the Mansion house.

13. A Government Garden and Orchard, contiguous to the Mansion House, enclosed with a Paling, and also a Brick House for the use of the Gardener.

14. An Old Farm House converted into a Dairy and repaired as such.

15. The Government Domain at Parramatta, consisting of about 500 acres of Ground, partially cleared of the Old dead Timber and Stumps, the whole being surrounded either by the Parramatta River or a Strong Fence, that part of the Grounds immediately in front of the Government House being enclosed with a Stone Wall with front and Rear Gates and a small Lodge at each.

16. A large Reservoir of Fresh Water on the Parramatta River, dammed up by a Strong Mound for the use of the Inhabitants of the Town, which is extremely useful in times of Droughts, which frequently occur there.

17. A Brick Watch House for the Police.

18. All the Old Streets repaired and remade, and several new Ones opened and constructed.

19. A Public Market Place, with Store for Grain and Pens for Cattle, enclosed with a high Paling in the Center of the Town, consisting of three acres of Ground.

20. Two separate Paddocks consisting of 50 acres each in the immediate Vicinity of the Town for the refreshing of the Government Working Oxen, cleared of the Standing Timber and enclosed with a Strong Fence.


1. A very handsome large Brick-built Church, with a Spire and of a sufficient height to admit of a Gallery, just completed.

2. A Burial Ground of Four acres Contiguous to the New Church, enclosed with a strong Paling.

3. A Brick-Built Barrack with the necessary out Offices and Parade Ground for Fifty Soldiers, enclosed with a Stockade.

4. A Brick Built Barrack with suitable Out Offices for the residence and accomodation of 100 Male Convicts, enclosed with a high Brick Wall.

5. A Gaol with all the necessary Wards and Cells on a small Scale and out Offices, including a house for the Jailor and an Open Court for the use of the Prisoners, the whole of the Premises being enclosed with a strong high Brick Wall.

6. A House purchased from the Executors of the late Mr. Andrew Thompson, situated in a very eligible, elevated and Airy Situation on the left Bank of the Stream of Fresh Water, called the "South Creek", converted into and fitted up as a Colonial Hospital and sufficiently roomy to accomodate 50 Patients, with sufficient Grounds for an extensive Garden.

7. The largest of the two Government Granaries in the Town of Windsor was converted in the year 1810 into a Temporary Chapel, the Ground Floor being fitted up as such, and one part of the Upper Floor as a residence for the Chaplain, and the remaining part for a Public School, Out Offices having been added for the use of the Chaplain, the whole of the Premises, including a small Garden, being enclosed with a Strong Fence.

8. A Large Brick Built 3 Story Provision Store and Granary purchased from the Executors of the late Mr. Andrew Thompson, which became indispensably necessary and was fitted up us such accordingly, with the addition of an Office for the Commissariat Officer stationed at Windsor.

N.B.—A small Cottage and Garden, belonging to the same Estate and attached to the said Stores, was purchased along with it and added to the Government Domain at Windsor, which joined Mr. Thompson's premises.

9. The remaining Old Granary new roofed and completely repaired.

10. A large substantial wooden wharf or quay Constructed in the Center of the Town on the right Bank of the river Hawkesbury for the convenience of Vessels and Boats, trading to Windsor, and at which Quay Vessels of 100 Tons Burthen can load their Cargoes. A very Convenient Ferry has been established from the same Wharf to the North Bank of the River by a large Punt.

11. A New Court House, adjoining to the Jail on a small scale, is now in progress, such a Building having become indispensably necessary in consequence of the old one being completely decayed.

12. A New Parsonage House near to the said Church is now in progress, and Ground for a Garden adjoining thereto marked out.

13. The Government Old Cottage repaired and much improved, and the Domain and Garden (Consisting in all of about six acres) enclosed with partly a brick Wall and partly a strong Fence, the River flowing immediately in front of it.

14. A small new Coach House and Stable for the use of the Governor and his Staff.

15. The Streets of Windsor repaired, and several new ones opened and constructed.


1. A handsome neat Brick-Built Church with a Tower and of sufficient height to admit of a Gallery being added, enclosed with a Dwarf Brick Wall.

2. A Burial Ground of Four Acres at a little distance from the Church enclosed with a Strong Paling.

3. A Brick-Built Hospital with Kitchen and other necessary Out Houses, sufficiently roomy to accomodate 30 Patients, an extensive Garden being attached thereto for the use of the Sick, the whole of the Premises being enclosed with a strong Fence.

4. A Weather-Boarded Provision Store and Granary two stories high.

5. A Weather-Boarded Barrack two Stories high for the accomodation of the Military Detachment, stationed at Liverpool, with an extensive Garden for the use of the Soldiers enclosed with a Paling.

6. A Weather-Boarded School House with accomodation for the Schoolmaster, two Stories high, the upper Story being made use of as a Court House for the meeting of the Magistrates, having a Garden for the use of the School-Master, the whole of the Premises being enclosed with a strong Fence.

7. A neat Commodious Brick-Built Parsonage House, two Stories high and stuccoed in imitation of Stone, with kitchen and all other necessary Out Offices, having a Garden and large grasing Paddock attached thereto, the whole of these Premises being enclosed with a Strong Paling.

8. A Strong Brick-Built Gaol with the necessary Wards and Cells, Kitchen and other Outhouses, including accomodation for the Jailor, a Lodge for the Watchmen, and a Court for the Prisoners to walk and take the Air in, the whole being surrounded with a strong high Brick Wall. A Garden is also attached and enclosed for the use of the Jailor.

9. A Strong Weather Boarded House, contiguous to the Gaol, and enclosed with a Strong Stockade, for the accomodation of the Gaol Gang and other Convict Labourers employed in the Town by Government.

10. A Brick-Built Stable and Coach House for the use of the Governor and his Staff with a large Loft used as a Government Granary.

11. A Wooden Wharf or Quay in the Center of the Town, immediately in the rear of the Government Provision Store on the left Bank of George's River, to which Vessels of 50 Tons can come to load and unload at, which Trade from Sydney to Liverpool by way of Botany Bay into which George's River empties itself.

12. A large allotment of six acres of Ground in the Center of the Town of Liverpool intended for a Public Market Place and Annual Fair, enclosed with a Strong Fence. N.B.—The present Site of the Town of Liverpool was a Thick Forest in November, 1810, when Governor Macquarie first marked it out.


1. A Brick Built Temporary Chapel and School House with accomodation for the Schoolmaster and his Family, including an enclosed Garden and Paddock for the use of Ditto.

2. A Burial Ground of 4 acres contiguous to the Chapel, enclosed with a strong fence.

3. A Brick-Built House of two Stories high with all the necessary Out Offices for the residence and accomodation of the Chaplain.

4. An extensive Kitchen Garden and Orchard, and also a large Grazing Paddock enclosed with a Strong Fence for the use of the Chaplain.


1. A Brick-Built Temporary Chapel and School-House, two Stories high, including accomodation for the Schoolmaster and his Family with a Garden and Grazing Paddock for Ditto, enclosed with a Strong Fence.

2. A Burial Ground of 4 acres contiguous to the Chapel, enclosed with a strong Fence. N.B.—The Streets in the Town of Richmond are all laid out at Right Angles and some are made, there being a great many good Houses already in this Town.

3. A small Gaol or Lock-up House strongly Built of Brick with accomodation for a Watchman.


1. A Purchased large Weather Boarded House Converted into a Temporary Chapel and School-house improved and fitted up as such, and adding thereto accomodations for the Schoolmaster and his Family, together with a Kitchen Garden and Grazing Paddock for the use of Ditto.

2. A Burial Ground of 4 acres contiguous to the Chapel, enclosed with a Strong Fence.


1. A large two Story Brick-Built House as a Temporary Chapel and School House, with good accomodation for the Schoolmaster and his Family, having a Kitchen Garden and a Grazing Paddock attached thereto, enclosed with a Fence for the use of Ditto.

2. A Burrial Ground of 4 Acres Contiguous to the Temporary chapel, enclosed with a Strong Fence.


1. A Commodious Weather Boarded Court House and Lock up House with accomodation for the District Constable and the Watchmen belonging to the District of Castlereagh.

2. A large Grazing Paddock of eight acres of Ground, enclosed with a Fence for the accommodation of Cattle and Sheep going to or coming from Bathurst. N.B.—The Post or Stage of Penrith is situated in the District of Castlereagh within one mile of "Emu Plains" and on the great Western Road leading to Bathurst.


1. A Good substantial Brick Built House, One Story and a half high, for the residence and accommodation of the Superintendent of Government Agriculture, having two spare Rooms reserved therein for the occasional residence of the Governor with a Kitchen and Stables.

2. A Weather Boarded Provision Store and Granary.

3. A Weather Boarded House as a Barrack for the Store-keeper.

4. A Weather Boarded Barrack for the Principal Overseer of Government Agriculture.

5. A Weather Boarded Barrack and Guard House for the Military Detachment stationed at Emu Plains.

6. A Small Log House as a Lock up Place or Prison for the refractory Convicts.

7. Two large Strong Weather Boarded Barns with Lofts for the Wheat and Maize Crops.

8. Strong Log and Weather Boarded Huts for the residence and accomodation of 500 Male Convicts with Kitchen Gardens, enclosed and attached to the said Huts for the use of the Convicts.

9. An extensive Kitchen Garden enclosed with a Strong Paling for the use of the Superintendant. Overseers, Store keeper and Military Guard.

10. Eight hundred acres of good ground for the purposes of Agriculture, Cleared of the Timber, enclosed and subdivided into separate large fields, Two hundred acres of which ground have already been cleared of the Stumps, and five hundred acres have been this last Season under Crops of Wheat, Maize, Oats, Barley. Rye, Flax and Tobacco. N.B.—The Rich fine Tract of Land called "Emu Plains" Consists of upwards of 2,000 acres of Ground and by far the best soil in the Colony for Cultivation. It is situated on the West side of the River Nepean and at the foot of the Blue Mountains. This most valuable tract of Land is of so much importance and so useful in every point of view to the Government that it never ought to be alienated.


1. A Weather Boarded Commodious Barrack and Guard House for the accommodation of the Military Guard, Stationed at this Post, having Kitchen Garden enclosed with a Fence for the use of the Soldiers. N.B.—This Post is on the Mountain Road and was established for the keeping open the Communication with Bathurst.


1. A Weather Boarded Commodious Barrack and Guard House with an enclosed Kitchen Garden for the accommodation of the Military Guard, stationed at this Post, on the great Western Road, which was also established for the Keeping Open the Communication with Bathurst as well as for the Protection of Travellers.


1. A Neat Brick Built House with the necessary Out Offices and a good Orchard and Kitchen Garden for the use of the Commandant.

2. A Brick-Built Barrack, two Stories High, for the accomodation of the Military Detachment stationed here.

3. A Brick Built Provision Store and Granary for the Troops and Convicts.

4. A Brick-Built Barrack for the accommodation of the Storekeeper.

5. A Brick-built Barrack for the accommodation of the Chief Constable and Superintendant of Convicts.

6. A Weather Boarded Barrack for the principal Overseer of Government Stock.

7. A large Brick Built Barn with Lofts for Wheat and Maize.

8. Temporary Log Houses as Barracks for 50 Male Convicts.

N.B.—There are Kitchen Gardens attached to all the foregoing Buildings and enclosed with strong fences.

9. Three hundred acres of Land for the purposes of Cultivation and Grazing enclosed with strong Fences and subdivided into Fields for the use of Government.


1. A Neat Commodious Brick-Built Chapel and School House with a Belfry.

2. A Brick House for the use of the Schoolmaster and his Family, having an enclosed Kitchen Garden attached thereto.

3. A Burial Ground of 4 acres, cleared of Trees and Stumps, contiguous to the Chapel, and in progress of being enclosed with a strong Fence. N.B.—"Campbell Town" is situated in the Center of the rich and populous District of Airds on "the great Southern Road" leading to the Appin and Illawarra Districts. A Chaplain has lately been appointed to and is now permanently stationed at "Campbell Town", which is 15 miles to the Southward of Liverpool.


1. A Brick Built House for the residence and accommodation of the Superintendant and principal Overseer of Government Stock in the Cow Pastures, reserving two rooms for the occasional accommodation of the Governor, with Kitchen and other necessary Out Offices, together with a good Kitchen Garden, well enclosed.

2. A Weather-boarded House for the accommodation of the Subordinate Overseers and Stockmen.

3. Four large paddock of 100 acres each enclosed with a strong Fence for the grazing of the Tame Cattle and Taming of the Wild Cattle, and cleared of the standing and dead Timber.

4. A Tanning House and Tan Yard for Tanning the Hides of the Wild Bulls for the use of Government.

5. Several other Paddocks and Stock-Yards enclosed for the Government Horses, Homed Cattle, and Sheep, grazing in other parts of the Government Grounds in the Cow Pastures. N.B.—Cawdor is the principal Run or Grazing Ground for the Government Horned Cattle and Sheep in the Cow Pastures on the western side of the Nepean River, consisting of about Fifteen thousand acres of land, and ought never to be alienated as long as it may be deemed expedient and advisable for the Government to possess and maintain Herds and Flocks.


1. A Brick-Built House of two Stories high for the residence and accomodation of the superintendant and principal Overseer of the Government Stock at the Station, reserving one room for the use of the Governor, when occasionally there, with Kitchen, Stables, and other necessary Out Offices and a Kitchen Garden inclosed.

2. Four paddocks of 50 acres each enclosed for the Grazing of the Young Cattle and raising of Wheat and Maize for the use of the Stockmen.

3. Temporary Log Huts or Barracks for the accommodation of twenty Stock Keepers with small Kitchen Garden attached thereto.

N.B.—The Station of Rooty Hill is the next principal one to Cawdor for the Grazing of the Government Horned Cattle and horses, and consists of about Six thousand acres of land of a very superior description, and, as this Grazing Ground is Centrically situated, being on the great Western Road and only ten miles distant from Parramatta, it ought not to be on any account alienated from the Crown.


1. Four Weather boarded Barracks for One Superintendant, two Overseers, and 40 Convict Labourers, employed here to cut and saw Timber for the public buildings, with an extensive Kitchen Garden enclosed for the use of the men so employed.

2. Three large paddocks of 50 acres each cleared of the standing and Dead Timber and enclosed with Fences for Grazing the Government working Oxen.

N.B.—This Government allotment consisting of 700 acres has been reserved and retained on account of the good and useful timber it produces for the Government buildings. It is situated on the Parramatta Road, extending to the River of that name and distant about 7 miles from Sydney.


1. Three Weather boarded Barracks for One Superintendant, One Overseer, and 30 Convict Labourers, employed here to cut and saw timber for the use of Government with a Kitchen Garden enclosed for their use.

2. Two paddocks of 50 acres each, cleared of Trees and Stumps and enclosed for Grazing the Government Working Oxen and raising Maize for feeding them.

N.B.—This Government Allotment of Ground consists of 500 acres of good Forest land, and has been retained and reserved for the use of the Crown in consideration of the excellent building Timber, it produces. It is situated on the Liverpool road and extends across to the Parramatta Road about ten miles distant from the Town of Sydney.


1. Temporary Weather boarded and Bark Huts for the residence of one Superintendant, two Overseers, and 80 Labouring Convicts, employed at this Station in collecting and sawing Timber, splitting Shingles, and burning Charcoal for the use of Government, each Hut having its own enclosed Kitchen Garden attached to it.

2. A Neat Temporary Weather-boarded Chapel is attached to this Establishment, where Divine Service is occasionally performed by one of the Missionaries.

N.B.—The heaviest largest and best Timber in the Colony for house building and other purposes being found in the Forests of "Pennant Hills", about 700 acres of it has been reserved for the use of the Crown exclusively, and a strong gang of Wood Cutters, Sawyers and Shingle Splitters have been stationed there for some years past. This Station is within about four miles of the Parramatta River, by which the Timber is brought down in Boats to Sydney.


1. The old Government Barn, new roofed and repaired and converted into a "Lunatic Asylum" being properly fitted up as such for the accommodation of 30 patients with a Court for the Lunatics to walk in, surrounded by a strong Stockade.

2. A Weather-boarded house for the residence of the superintendant and his family with a good enclosed Garden.

N.B.—"Castle Hill" is distant seven miles from Parramatta.

1. A Turnpike well made road from the Town of Sydney
  to the Town of Parramatta.
15 miles
2. A Turnpike well made road from Parramatta to the
  Town of Windsor.
20 do.
3. A Turnpike well made road from Parramatta to
  "Emu Ford" on the Right Bank of the River Nepean
  called the "Great Western road."
20 do.
4. A Carriage Road (but not yet a Turnpike one) from
  Parramatta to the town of Richmond, branching off
  at Prospect from the Great Western Road.
15 do.
5. A Carriage Cross Road from the Richmond Road
  through Toongabbee and Seven Hills to the Windsor
5 do.
6. A Turnpike well made road from Sydney to the Town     
  of Liverpool.
20 do.
7. A Turnpike well made Cross road to connect the
  Parramatta with the Liverpool road.
5 do.
8. A Good Carriage well finished road (but not made a
  Turnpike one) from the town of Liverpool through
  Airds to the Cataract River in the District of
25 do.
9. A Carriage road (but not yet made Turnpike) from
  the Town of Liverpool to the Ford on the River
  Nepean leading to the "Cow Pastures".
17 do.
10. A Carriage road (but not yet Turnpike) from the
  Town of Liverpool to "Bringelly" on the Right
  Bank of the Nepean River.
15 do.
11. A Carriage Cross road (not yet Turnpike) to connect
  the Appin and "Cow Pasture" Road.
3 do.
12. A Carriage road (but not yet made a turnpike one)
  from "Emu Plains" on the left Bank of the River
  Nepean across the blue Mountains to the Town
  of "Bathurst".
101 do.
13. A Well finished Carriage and Gun Road from the
  Town of Sydney to the Light House and Signal Post
  on the South Head of Port Jackson.
7 do.
14. A Well made Carriage and Gun road from the Town
  of Sydney to the nearest part of "Botany Bay".
8 do.
Total amount of number of Miles of Public Carriage
  Roads Constructed
276 miles.

N.B.—A great number of Bridges, although not particularly specified, have been constructed on all the foregoing roads over Rivers, Creeks, Swamps and Hollow ways, at a very considerable expence and labor to render the roads safe and passable. Great pains were taken to render those bridges as strong and substantial as possible, as well as durable, and there is no doubt of their lasting many years.

The roads in the foregoing Schedule, which are specified as not being yet Turnpike ones, were opened and constructed some years since, so as to render them passable for Wheel Carriages; but they have been much injured and cut up by the very heavy rains, which fall in this Colony every year. They are now therefore remaking. and in progress of being thoroughly repaired and completed very soon in a more permanent manner, more especially the bridges. which, being chiefly made of timber, require the most particular attention in constructing.

On all the public roads specified to be Turnpike Ones, good brick Toll-houses (for the Toll-keepers) and strong Turnpike Gates have been erected.<>


1. A Handsome neat Stone built Church with a Spire, situated on an elevated airy situation.

2. A Burial Ground of 4 acres enclosed with a Paling.

3. A Neat Brick-built Stuccoed One Story parsonage house, with a Verandah and all the necessary Out Offices and also a Kitchen Garden and Grazing Paddock, attached thereto, both enclosed with a paling.

4. The house and Offices for the accommodation of the Commandant repaired, enlarged and considerably improved with a good Kitchen Garden and a large Grazing paddock, both enclosed for the use of the Commandant.

5. A Brick-built barrack for three Subaltern Officers, having also the necessary Out Offices and a Garden attached thereto.

6. A Brick-built Barrack for the Assistant Surgeon of the Settlement with the necessary Out Offices and Garden attached thereto.

7. A Brick built Barrack with front Verandah for the accommodation of 100 Soldiers with the necessary Out Offices. Guard House, and Square in front for Parading, the whole of these Premises being enclosed with a high brick wall; A large Kitchen Garden being also attached to the Barracks for the use of the Troops.

8. A Weather-boarded Military Hospital with a Verandah in front for the accommodation of 20 patients, Enclosed with a paling.

9. A Weather-boarded Colonial Hospital with a Verandah in front for the accommodation of 60 Patients, having an extensive Area of Ground round it, which is surrounded by a strong Stockade.

10. A large Commodious Stone-built Gaol, the necessary Wards, Cells and Out Offices, with apartments for the accommodation of the Jailor and his Family, the whole of the premises being surrounded with a strong stone wall 12 feet high.

11. A large brick-built provision Store and Granary.

12. A Weather-boarded Barrack for the Storekeeper with Garden attached thereto.

13. do. do. for the Chief Constable.

14. do. do. for the principal Superintendent of Convicts.

15. A range of Weather-boarded Barracks for the accommodation of 800 male Convicts with Kitchen Gardens attached thereto.

16. A separate small range of Barracks for the accommodation of 50 female Convicts.

17. A complete Lumber Yard, enclosed with a strong stockade, containing all descriptions of Work Shops and Covered-in Saw Pits for the Government Mechanics and Artificers.

18. A Timber, Lime and Coal Yard enclosed with a strong stockade.

19. A large Boat house for locking up the Boats, Tackle and Oars in.

20. A Weather boarded Guard house in a high Situation, overlooking the Lumber Yard, Timber, Lime and Coal Yard and Boat house.

21. A Watch-house for the Constables on duty adjoining the Landing Place.

22. A Weather-boarded Barrack for the Pilot, Overseers and Constables.

23. A good strong substantial Wooden Wharf or Quay and landing place for Vessels to load and unload their Cargoes at.

24. A Mole or Pier {6} on a large substantial plan built of Stone now erecting, and about ¾ths finished across the Channel between the main and "Coal Island" for the purpose of protecting the Harbour of Newcastle from the