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Title: Official Papers Relating to the Settlement at Swan River,
West Australia. December, 1826—January, 1830.
Authors: Edited by Frederick Watson.
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 1402751h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: October 2014.
Date most recently updated: October 2014.

Produced by: Ned Overton.

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Production Notes:

The purpose of this compilation is to bring together all documents classed as relating to the early formation of the Swan River Colony, sourced solely from "Historical Records of Australia" ["HRA"] Series I, Volumes XII to XV, and Series III, Volume VI. The broad structure of the compilation is as follows:

• All items appearing in or alluded to in HRA Series III, Volume VI, pages 551-640, in order [This includes items from Series I.];

• All Commentary Notes pertaining to the above [Notes 34; 37; 113-133 inclusive.];

• Appendices: Four other items pertaining to the Swan River Colony from HRA Series I, Volume XIII, added for completeness; and

• Commentary Notes pertaining to the Appendices.

The items have each been numbered and a table of contents added. Maps referred to by Stirling, by Freycinet and about Peel have been added, sourced chiefly from State Records Office of Western Australia ["SROWA"].

Page numbers for Series III items are in plain font, while those for Series I are in Italics. While HRA Notes are in (round) or [square brackets], production notes in the body of the work are in {curly brackets}. No margin headlines have been included.



The Settlement at Swan River,

West Australia.

December, 1826—January
, 1830.

[Compiled from




Series III,


Volume VI, pp. 551-640,

together with excerpts from

Series I, Volumes XII-XV.]


1.    Proposals by Captain Stirling for a Settlement at Swan River. 14th Dec., 1826.

2.    Captain Stirling to Governor Darling. 18th April, 1827.

2.1    [Enclosure No. 1.]: Narrative of Operations. [Stirling]

2.2    [Enclosure No. 2.]: Observations on the soil, etc., etc., of the Banks of Swan River. [Fraser]

3.    Application by Captain James Stirling for Command of the proposed Settlement at Swan River.

4.    Under Secretary Stanley to Captain Stirling. 29th November, 1827.

5.    Right Hon. W. Huskisson to Governor Darling. 28th January, 1828.

6.    Captain Stirling to Under Secretary Hay. 30 July, 1828.

7.    Captain Stirling and Major Moody to Under Secretary Hay. 21st August, 1828.

8.    Commander Gardiner to Sir George Murray. 31 October, 1828.

9.    Mr. J. Barrow to Under Secretary Twiss. 7 November, 1828.

10.   Mr. J. Barrow To Under Secretary Twiss. 13 November, 1828.

11.    Memorial from Mr. Thomas Peel, Sir Francis Vincent and others. 14th November, 1828.

12.    Mr. Thomas Peel to Under Secretary Twiss. 30 November, 1828.

13.    Mr. Thomas Peel to Under Secretary Twiss. 2 December, 1828.

14.    Lord Hill to Sir George Murray. 3 December, 1828.

15.    Under Secretary Hay to Mr. T. Peel, Sir F. Vincent, Mr. T. P. Macqueen and Mr. E. W. H. Schenley. 6th December, 1828.

15.1   [Enclosure.] Conditions for Land Grants at Swan River.

16.    Mr. J. Stewart to Under Secretary Hay. 11 December, 1828.

17.    Mr. L. Beauvais to Under Secretary Twiss. 17 December, 1828.

18.    Sir F. Vincent and Messrs. Peel and Schenley to Under Secretary Hay. 18 December, 1828.

18.1   Memorandum with reference to the Subject of this Letter by Mr Hay. 23 December, 1828.

19.    Mr. J. Lachlan to Captain Stirling. 23 December, 1828.

20.    Lord Fitzroy Somerset to Under Secretary Twiss. 24 December, 1828.

21.    Captain Stirling to Under Secretary Hay. 26 December, 1828.

22.    Captain Stirling to Under Secretary Hay. 28 December [1828].

23.    Navy Commissioners to Under Secretary Hay. 29 December, 1828.

24.    Sir George Murray to Captain Stirling. (Despatch No. 1.) 30 December, 1828. [Instructions to Stirling.]

24.1   [Enclosure.] Instructions to Governor Darling. [Excerpts.]

25.    Captain Stirling to Under Secretary Hay. 31 December, 1828.

26.    Under Secretary Hay to Captain Stirling. 1 January, 1829.

27.    Sir George Murray to Governor Darling. 12 January, 1829.

28.    Remarks on Swan River by Major Lockyer. [1829.]

29.    Regulations for the guidance of those who may propose to embark, as Settlers, for the new Settlement on the Western Coast of New Holland. 18 January, 1829.

30.    Under Secretary Twiss to Sir F. Vincent and Messrs. Peel and Schenley. 21 January, 1829.

31.    Sir George Murray To Captain Stirling. 22 January, 1829.

31.1  [Enclosure.] See Item 29.

32.   Sir Francis Vincent To Under Secretary Twiss. 23 January, 1829.

33.   Mr. Thomas Peel To Under Secretary Twiss. 28 January, 1829.

33.1  [Enclosure.] Mr. E. W. H. Schenley to Mr. T. Peel. 23 January, 1829.

34.  Under Secretary Twiss to Mr. T. Peel. 28th. January, 1829.

34.1   [Enclosure.—Map 4.]

35.   Under Secretary Twiss to Mr. T. Peel. 29 January, 1829.

36.   Commodore Schomberg to Secretary Croker. 20 March, 1829.

36.1  [Enclosure.] Orders to W. H. Freemantle, Captain of H.M. Ship Challenger.

37.   Governor Darling to Sir George Murray. 14 May, 1829.

38.   Sir George Murray to Governor Darling. 11 August, 1830

39.   Lieutenant-Governor Stirling to Sir George Murray. 20 January, 1830.

39.1  [Enclosure 1a]: Abstract from General Muster Book.

39.2  [Enclosure 1b]: Supplementary list of Persons.

39.3  [Enclosure 2a]. List of Persons who have claimed Land.

39.4  [Enclosure 2b]. Supplementary List of Persons having Property.

Commentary Notes on the Official Papers.


Appendix 1.  Governor Darling to Earl Bathurst. 21st April, 1827.

Appendix 2.  Governor Darling to Under Secretary Hay. 14th May, 1827.

Appendix 3.  Governor Darling to Under Secretary Hay. 6th November, 1827.

Appendix 4.  Governor Darling to Viscount Goderich. 13th October, 1827.

Commentary Notes on the Appendices.


Map 1. A Chart of Part of the West Coast of New Holland. March 1827.

Map 2. Plan of the Louis-Napoleon Islands and the River of Swans by Messrs. L. Freycinet and Heirisson, 1801 and 1803.

Map 3. Chart of Swan and Canning Rivers on the Western Coast of Australia [showing land grants to Stirling and Peel].

Map 4. Thomas Peel's [ultimate] grant of 249,999 acres.



The Settlement At Swan River,

West Australia


1. Proposals by Captain James Stirling * for a Settlement at Swan River.

[* Note 113.]

[A copy of these proposals will be found on page 777 et seq., volume XII, series I.

{This item appears as the second enclosure (the other also by Stirling) of Despatch No. 96 of Governor Darling to Earl Bathurst of 18th December, 1826, found in HRA Series I, Volume XII, pp. 773-75.—Ed.}


[Enclosure No. 2.]

Captain Stirling to Governor Darling.

His Majesty's Ship Success,
Sydney, N. S. Wales, 14th Decr., 1826.


     Your Excellency having decided upon delaying the removal of the Establishment from Melville Island to Croker's Island until the termination of the Rainy Season in that Quarter, I have, in consequence, been led to consider in what way His Majesty's Ship, under my Command, may in the mean time be most beneficially employed in furtherance of My Lord Bathurst's wishes. In the prosecution of these considerations, certain Ideas have been suggested to me by Professional observation, relative to the necessity of immediately Seizing upon a position on the Western Coast of this Island near Swan River, in the 32nd Degree of Latitude. The various advantages, resulting from a Settlement in that Situation, and the reasons for occupying it, I now beg leave to submit to Your Excellency's notice.

On reference to a Chart of the Indian Ocean, it will be perceived that there is a constant Westerly Perennial Wind between the parallel of 32° South and the region of Ice; that it generally blows with considerable force; that the portion of it, which reaches the Shore of New Holland, alters its direction, and taking the line of Coast becomes a Southerly Wind, until it reach the parrallel of 28°, where, uniting itself with the S.E. Trade, it quits the Coast of New Holland in a direction nearly opposite to that, by which it arrived. These two Streams of Wind offer great facilities to Navigation on those Shores; for it is evident that Vessels, whatever may be their destination, may thereby be assured of Fair Winds and speedy Voyages across the adjacent Seas. Another advantage in Navigation, peculiar to the Neighbourhood of Swan River, is its position with respect to Europe, Cape of Good Hope, Isle of France, the Peninsula of India, and the Malay Islands.

Vessels, bound from those places to Swan River, would reach it in Three weeks less time than they could reach Port Jackson; and Vessels, bound from Swan River to those places, would reach them in Six weeks less time than from Port Jackson; in fact, the Eastern parts of New Holland, including Van Diemen's Land, are cut off from all Commercial communication with the Indian Seas to the Eastward during the greatest portion of the Year, for Merchant Vessels cannot beat up against the Strong Westerly Winds and Lee Currents, which prevail on the Southern Coast of New Holland in all Seasons except January and February.

The third advantage, peculiar to that position, arises from its being very little out of the Track of Ships, bound to China through the Eastern Passages; they generally make the outward Voyage lightly Laden, in consequence of the great difficulty of making up a Cargo for the China Market; but, if there were a Settlement at Swan River, its Supplies from England might be brought out in those Ships at a cheap rate, and they might there find some articles suitable to the wants of the Chinese, such as Oil, Seal Skins, Ship Timber, and Trepang, beside obtaining for themselves the refreshments rendered necessary by so long a Voyage.

The fourth advantage, as to Navigation, attributable to that Neighbourhood, results from the Fine Weather and Tranquil Seas, in which it would be carried on; these, together with the shortness of the Voyage to India, the Mauritius, and all the Malay Islands, would admit of the employment of Small Vessels, an important advantage to a Young Colony, where there is not Capital for the construction of large Ships, or distant Speculation. I shall conclude my observations, relative to the Navigation of that Coast, by the following estimate of the length of time, in which Voyages, may possibly be made to and from it:—

To the Cape of Good Hope Six weeks, back a Month
" Mauritius Three weeks, back a Month
" Madras Three weeks, back a Month
" Java and the Islands adjacent Ten days, back Fourteen Days
" Van Diemen's Land Seven days, back Two Months

Your Excellency is aware that the Coast, between Cape Lewin and Shark's Bay, has never been explored by any British Officer; its Soil and Productions are as yet unknown; but, as it is situated in the same parallel as New South Wales, in the same climate and on the same Island, it is fair to assume that it is in other respects similar to this Country; if this assumption be correct, it will admit of labour by Europeans, and produce commodities well suited to the wants of neighbouring Countries, which being situated between Tropics are in a condition to exchange Tropical productions for those of the Temperate Zone; it might, for instance, supply India with Horses and wheat, and possibly Coal and Iron; it might supply the Mauritius with Live Stock and Grain; it might supply the Malay Islands with various articles, adapted to their wants, and China with Wool, Hemp, Shipping, and the produce of the Ocean; with respect to its Productions generally, I do not think it too much to say that it may hereafter be to the various Countries in India that which the Colonies in North America once were to the West Indian Settlements.

As a Naval and Military Station upon a great Scale, the neighbourhood of Swan River would be of the highest importance. A Force placed there, while employed in the protection of that Country, would at the same time command India, the Malay Islands, and all the Settlements in New Holland, because, from the nature of the Coast and Winds, such Force could be speedily transported from that point to any one of those various places. The Troops and Seamen, moreover, would there be situated in a healthy and bracing Climate, and be constantly kept in condition to pour upon any Surrounding Country, either for the Annoyance of an Enemy's Settlements, or the protection of our own. A Force, kept there, would also prevent or counteract any hostile views, entertained by an Enemy upon India; for a Vessel Sailing Singly from England would reach Swan River, as soon as an Enemy's Fleet quitting Europe at the same time could reach the 80th Degree of Longitude, to which they must come before hauling to the Northward; and our Forces, despatched thence, might encounter such Enemy's Fleet within a few days of its arrival in the Indian Seas, debilitated probably by long Voyage and Scurvy. As a Convalescent Station for His Majesty's Troops and Ships, employed on the Indian establishment, and for the Civil and Military Servants of the Company, it would be of great Value, rendering long and expensive Voyages to Europe unnecessary on the score of Health; and, while such Persons would be highly benefited by such a change of Climate, a Colony settled there would rapidly spring up into Wealth, stimulated by the Sums of Money expended during such Visits.

It does not appear that the expence of maintaining a Settlement in that position would be great; all the Necessaries of life in its Infancy might be obtained cheaply from Timor or Java; the Convalescent Troops and Ships from India might be its Guard; the China Ships would convey Stores from England at a low rate, or Prisoners, if it were thought proper to make it a Penal Settlement; and a very few Years would render it in all probability fit to maintain itself.

Finally, Sir, at a time when we have one French Vessel of War in these Seas with objects not clearly understood, and when we hear of an American Vessel of War being also in this neighbourhood, seeking a place for a Settlement, it becomes important to prevent them from occupying a position of such Value, particularly as you were pleased to say that His Majesty's Government is desirous of not being anticipated in such views by any Foreign Power.

I shall not trespass further on Your Excellency's time than to suggest that there is no position, Nautically considered, which presents such attractions as the neighbourhood I have pointed out; for Shark's Bay, being near the Tropic, is too hot for labour by Europeans, and also for a Convalescent Station; while, on the other side, King George's Sound can never be a place for the China Ships to touch at; nor can either of these places offer the facilities for Navigation and Trade, which the Coast between Cape Lewin and Swan River affords.

I, therefore, respectfully request Your Excellency's consideration of this Subject; and I beg leave to offer my most zealous exertions in furthering any decision, you may be pleased to come to relative to a measure so important to the Public Service.

I have, &c.,
James Stirling, Captain.


2. Captain Stirling to Governor Darling.

His Majesty's Ship Success,
Sydney, New South Wales, 18th April, 1827.


     In the accompanying Statement, I have the honor to communicate to Your Excellency the result of my Explorating visit to the Western Coast of New Holland.

I should have been glad if I could have rendered this report more valuable than it may appear, but two causes intervened to prevent it being so, the first arose from the very short time I could devote to this Service, the other from want of experience in Surveying on my own part and that of the Officers of His Majesty's Ship under my Command.

It is however owing to their cordial and zealous co-operation that I have been enabled to collect the details on which this report is formed.

I have, &c.,
James Stirling, Captain.

Map 1. A Chart of Part of the West Coast of New Holland. March 1827.

[Note: East is up the page. Source: SROWA Map Series 234, Item 297.]

[Click on the map to enlarge it.]


2.1. [Enclosure No. 1.]

Narrative of Operations.

On the 17th of January, 1827, we quitted Port Jackson accompanied by the Cutter and Tender.** It soon became apparent that the inferiority of, her Sailing qualities would occasion much delay, if I persisted in keeping company with her, and eventually on the 9th February off the S.W. Cape of Van Dieman's Land, finding it dangerous and impracticable to take her in tow from the boisterous Weather and heavy Seas we encountered, I sent the necessary Instructions to the Officer in charge of her, and proceeded alone to the Westward.

[** Note 114.]

Had this resolution have been taken at an earlier period, we should have saved much time; but her value to us was too great to seperate from her until it became absolutely necessary.

On the 4th of March, we saw the Land, and after an extremely stormy passage rounded Cape Leuwin.

The first appearance of the Coast we were now to explore presented nothing attractive; the monotony of its outline and the dusky hue of the meagre vegetation, it supported, at once accounted for the sterile and hopeless character attributed by early navigators * to this Region.

[* Note 115.]

The whole of the 4th, we continued to sail along the Shore at 5 Miles distance from it; and, being favored by a strong Southerly breeze, we made such rapid progress that the Sun's Meridian altitude on the following day was observed within a Mile of the West point of Rottenest. Instead of anchoring there, I at once proceeded along the Northern Shore and stood over to the Main Land; but, the wind increasing to a strong breeze, and the Water at the same time lessoning to Six Fathoms, I found it prudent to return, and at 3 O'Clock anchored on the N.E. side of the Island about a Mile from the Beach. The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to an inspection of the Eastern Portion of the Island, and of a Bay situated between its Eastern and N.E. extremity.

The existence of a Safe anchorage on these Shores was a fact unknown, previous to our arrival, but to find such a place was of such importance to our ulterior operations here, that it engaged my earliest and earnest attention. On the following Morning, therefore, we were under way at daybreak, and again shaped our course to the Main Land in anxious pursuit of the great object abovementioned. The wind being contrary, the whole of the Forenoon was spent in beating to windward. At Noon we had attained to within half a Mile of the entrance to the River, and at One O'clock, the Sea breeze setting in with considerable force, and the appearance of the Water to windward indicating a Shoal, we anchored in 12 Fathoms, one Mile distant in a W.S.W. direction from the South Head.

In the course of this forenoon, we had found favorable opportunities to form a general idea of the Country; near the Sea the aspect upon the whole was agreeable, altho' the barren downs immediately behind the Beach bore the marks of sterility; we had also opportunity to ease ourselves of the alarm excited on the previous day by the discolouration of the bottom of the Sea, which, whenever visible, presented dark spots, and which at first we took for Rocks. This forenoon however satisfied me on this point, for we ascertained that the colour proceeded from a Vegetable production on the bottom, over which there was an equal depth of Water with that on the surrounding patches of sand. I observed moreover that the Sea here was perfectly Smooth and free from the general Coast swell from the S.W. quarter, and that the Sea breeze, although strong, neither this day or the one preceeding, produced the Slightest motion. I was not at this time aware that a bank or continued Succession Of Reefs defends all this part of the Coast from the swell, which continually beats against their Seaward Side.

From the anchorage we at this time occupied, I had a tolerable view of the surrounding Coast, Islands, and Shoals; and, resolving to seek a Port further Southward, I dispatched the Master to look for a Channel in that direction. The Neighbourhood of the River tempted me to reconnoitre it, and taking Mr. Frazer * with me, I proceeded in the Gig for that purpose; we crossed the bar and ascended the Stream for 5 or Six Miles. In the course of the excursion he made several interesting acquisitions, and I had the good fortune to kill three of those magnificent Birds, which give a Name to the Stream we were embarked upon. On my return at nine O'Clock, the Master reported he had found a Bank even with the Water's edge, about half a Mile from the Ship, a discovery which made me rejoice exceedingly that we anchored where we did. He reported further that, proceeding along the edge of the bank to the Westward, he had traced it as far as certain rocks visible from the Ship four Miles from us, and that there was a Channel near them of 3½ fathoms into deep Water. At Daybreak on the 7th we were accordingly on our way to the rocks indicated, the Spit or Bank being now to be crossed every precaution was adopted. An Officer highly praiseworthy was sent a head in a Boat; good leadsmen were in the Chains and the Ship's head directed towards the expected Channel. The Water gradually shoaled to 4 then to 3 fathoms and ultimately to a quarter less than 3, which was little enough for a Ship advancing 16 feet 6 inches; our Boat however continued to advance, and, as I felt confident the Officer in her would instantly return according to his Instructions, if he found less than 3 fathoms by the Boat's lead, which was equal to ¼ less 3 by the Ship's, I determined to stand on, and after half an hour's anxiety the depth increased and, as soon as we reached 5½ Fathoms, I let go the Anchor.

[* Note 116.]

I had no reason upon reflection to censure the Master for the discrepancy, thus found between the actual depth and his report; the fact was the Water had been raised by the Sea breeze to the height he represented, and instead of finding nearly the same depth on the following Morning at the same hour, as we should have found it in regular Tides, we found considerably less; we had not at that time discovered that the Tides are on this Coast very much influenced by the existing winds.

On a further examination into the nature of the Anchorage the Ship now occupied, I had reason to be satisfied as to its security; the bank we had passed extended from East to North, and would serve as a Breakwater against sea from that direction; the distant Land of the Main moreover was visible between these two points. At the Western extremity of the bank, there were rocks and breakers which continued in succession as far as Rottenest, in short all around us rocks Breakers, or Land were visible in every point of the Compass; and, when I had moored the Ship half a Mile nearer to Pulobarnac, I was satisfied that she was in perfect safety.

The remainder of the 7th was dedicated to a visit to the Isle Beuach of the French charts; * and, on examination into the soundings and Bays on its Eastern side, I there found reason to admire a Magnificent Sound between that Island and the Main possessing great attractions for a Sailor in search of a Port; and, altho' we could not find an entrance into it, I saw the value of the position too strongly not to resolve upon its exploration as soon as circumstances would admit. In the mean time, being now free from anxiety respecting the Ship, I determined upon leaving her where she was, and immediately ordered preparations to be made for our journey into the interior.

[* Note 117.]

Map 2. Plan of the Louis-Napoleon Islands and the River of Swans by Messrs. L. Freycinet and Heirisson, 1801 and 1803.

[Note: East is up the page.]

[Click on the map to enlarge it.]

The route obviously pointed out to us was the course of Swan. River. On the Morning of the 8th, every necessary being embarked in the Cutter and Gig, we left the Ship and proceeded with a fair wind towards the Main. The two Boats contained in all Eighteen Persons, one part of which consisted of Lieutenant: Belches, Mr. Surgeon Clause, Mr. Fraser, Mr. Garling, Mr. Heathcote and myself; the other of Eight Seamen and four Marines, the latter were provided abundantly with subsistance, Two Suits of Cloaths, one whereof was composed of Blanket Stuff, a Hammock for each, a tent for the whole, and Arms. sufficient to repel any attack that might befall us.

At Noon we crossed the Bar and reached the entrance. It is flanked by two natural Piers or Heads, similar in the material of which they are composed but dissimilar in Size. The Southern or largest is 70 or 80 feet high and is connected with the Main Land by a Sandy isthmus bearing a Bay on each side. The Heads are composed of a Limestone Rock, which in those parts, that are subject to the action of the surge, is worn into Caverns, while in other places the action of the Sun and atmosphere has in part decomposed it, exhibiting various Specimens of organic remains, both of marine and of vegetable origin.

I must protest here against the term "River" as applied to the Estuary in which we were now entering. It is a misnomer which leads to confusion of Ideas; and I shall therefore designate the various ramifications of the Sea within the two heads just mentioned by the general name Melville Water, limiting the use of the name Swan River to that Stream, which joining the Sea at the Islands below Fraser's Point concludes its career as a River. For the extent and direction of the various Arms of Melville Water, I refer to the Chart. I shall only state that the Shores near the Heads, altho' not deficient in good Soil, present not a pleasant sort of Vegetation to the Eye; but, as the Stream is ascended, the banks become extremely beautiful and picturesque. Their beauty is enhanced by the lofty trees, which occasionally adorn them, and by the bright green pendulous foliage with which the Shrubs are covered.

From the Heads to Point Belches, we proceeded prosperously before a favoring breeze, but we were there to encounter difficulties. The Boats took the Ground, and we sought in vain by Walking from Shore to Shore to find a Channel. The only alternative left was to drag the Boats over the Bank which was practised for a distance of two Miles, until night overtook us when the increasing tenacity of the mud obliged us to desist. It was too late then to find a way to firm dry ground, so we were forced to pass the night in the Boats, which was done without much inconvenience.

At Daylight of the 9th, the Gig was carried over the flats above the Islands, and breakfast prepared for the Party, who, from 5 O'Clock in the Morning till dark, were employed in fruit less exertions to advance the Gutter. At length despairing of getting her forward, I had her carried about half a Mile down with the intention of sending her back; but, having found a bank of sand just below her position, which altho' dry afforded firm footing, I resolved upon attempting it the following Morning. As Night set in, the whole Party was collected and the Men being dressed out in their dry Blanket Suits sat down at 7 o'Clock to a comfortable Dinner after a day's work, which, for unremitting exertions above their middles in Mud and Water, I never saw exceeded.

On the Morning of the 10th, we found the Sand bank more favorable to our wishes than the mud had been. At Noon, I had the satisfaction to see the Cutter once more afloat above the Shoals, and immediately after everything re-embarked for the prosecution of our Course. These obstructions had detained us two days, at or near [F]razer's Point; our Water during such great exertions had suffered many inroads, and it became necessary either to find a Supply or return to the Ship. Happily Mr. Frazer discovered a Fresh Water Lagoon, and I hit upon a Spring of delicious Water sufficient to supply all our wants.

The first day of our sojourn here was marked by a visit of three Armed Natives, who, seeing Mr. Frazer alone taking care of the Gig at about One hundred Yards from the Shore, came down and motioned him to be gone. It was in vain that he proffered all his Stock of amicable Signals; they seemed angry at our invasion of their Territory, and by their violent gesture gave him reason to rejoice at the Space of water, which divided them from the Boat; supposing however that he was beyond reach, they eventually retired, and these were the only Natives we seen in that Neighbourhood, altho' many traces existed of its being much frequented. If some of those traces or footsteps had been taken as the standard of size, a mistake sometimes made in Savage Countries, Gigantic indeed must have appeared the authors of those marks.

The Country at Frazer's Point differs in character from that which is nearer the Sea; above it, Sandy beaches and precipitous Limestone Cliffs are succeeded by flat rushy Shores, or rising banks of grass, and Woodland, but the Soil of the Hills is still sandy and the lowlands bear marks of Fresh Water inundations. The Water also at this point assumed the appearance of a River, and at four O'clock on the 10th we embarked upon it for the further prosecution of our Voyage. Our progress on that Evening was not great, nor could it be so, after a hard day's work; at dark we pulled in for a landing-place on the left shore, and in a few Minutes a blazing fire, with roasting Swans before it, shed cheerfulness on our resting place; our dominion here however was not undisputed for all places I have ever visited I think it contained the greatest number of Musquitoes. This phenomenon was easily accounted for when daylight shewed us that we had taken up our Quarters on a narrow ridge between the River and a Swamp.

The Regulations established for our movements were to breakfast at 4, start at 5, and row or sail till 11, to rest from that time till 3, and then to proceed till 6 in the Evening; at day light accordingly on the 11th, we were Sailing upwards through a bieutiful reach of the River. On the left lay a level Country 15 or 20 feet above the water, covered with bronze grass and studded by a few green trees; On the right, higher banks and greater bieuty of scenery but the Soil of inferior quality. The Plants, which inhabit sandy districts, were become rare, while those, which flourish in loamy Soils, were frequently appearing. Swans and Ducks, which at Frazer's Point were numerous, now became still more so, and of the first kind we killed with ease as many as we wanted. Fish we saw in abundance, but had no time to spare for their Capture; at 7 O'Clock, we entered a very long reach; the last Sandy Hills we were to see lay on our left; the distant blue Mountains were before us; and the smoke from many fires was rising on different Points of view; at this place the river is not above 100 Yards wide, and the Channels not more than 7 or 8 feet deep; the Water is still brackish but no longer Salt. At the Head of this long reach, we found it drinkable, and running downward at the rate of a Mile an hour over a gravally bottom; here peeping at us from behind trees we discovered two Boys, presently others appeared and at last we saw a whole Tribe of about thirty Natives.

The rule I had laid down for my guidance in all communications with these People was neither to seek nor avoid an interview. I adopted this plan as the one best calculated to prevent hostilities, for to approach a savage or to retire before him I felt persuaded would both produce the same result, in the one case leading him from fear to strike the first blow, and in the other tempting him to make conquest of Enemies, who by retreating exhibit symptoms of weakness and fear; it was with this view that I resolved in the present case to let our new acquaintances seek or shun us as they best pleased. At first they displayed great reserve; but, as we made no attempt to approach them, the Warriors followed us along the bank, the Women and Children retiring out of sight. The Woods now resounded with their Shouts, to which replied our Bugle with equal loudness and with more than equal melody. At this point appearances wore a threatening aspect, for the Natives seemed much enraged, and I judged, from their violent gestures and great noise they made, that we should shortly have a shower of spears. The River was here only 60 Yards across, and, as they had the advantage of a bank 20 feet high, our situation put us much within reach of annoyance; we however pursued our course until the bank became nearly level with the Water, by which time they had assumed more confidence and began to mimic our various expressions of "How do you do"; and at last we held up a Swan, which seemed to amuse them, and, having cast it to them, they testified the greatest delight at the present; this led to an interview which proceeded upon amicable terms; we gave them various articles of Dress, a Corporal's Jacket and three Swans, and received in return all their Spears and Womeras; at length we were forced to tear ourselves away, and they retired astonished at their acquisitions, intimating that they would willingly accompany the Boats, but that a Creek a short distance further up prevented their doing so.

From our Parting with these People till Dinner time, we continued to penetrate through a rich and romantic Country. At Noon we halted and, while the necessary preparations were making for our repast, Parties Sallied forth in various directions to explore the neighbourhood; many traces of Natives and Kangaroos were seen, and indeed the latter animal had been observed in the course of the day's progress; but we were not sufficiently acquainted with that species of hunting to make prize of any of them; here were also traces of the Cassowary, and we found abundance of Ducks, Cocketoos, Swans, Redbill, Pigeon and Quail. The Country adjacent to this Spot is generally of an undulating character; occasionally sections of the higher grounds are seen on the Banks of the River, and by presenting Steep red, brown and yellow Cliffs, of one or two hundred feet high, add much to the variety of the Landscape. These Hills in general have an Iron Stone grit for their base, and good red loam for their surface. The holms or lower grounds, which probably occupy on an average four fifths of the surface of the Country, are composed of a deep dark coloured loam devoid of clay or sand, and are usually clothed with grass. The Stringy Bark and Apple Tree of New South Wales grow to an enormous size on the mounts, some of the latter sort being seen 25 feet in circumference.

On the Flats the Blue Gum Tree flourishes, but in a ratio of not more than 10 to an Acre, and they are generally unaccompanied by any other Tree or Shrub except a long leaved and beautiful Species of Acacia. At 2 O'Clock, we resumed our course, and, as the River had decreased in width to about 40 Yards, some of the Party advanced along the banks for the various purposes of preventing a Surprize, Shooting Game, and seeing the Country; its open forest-like character afforded no impediment to their march, indeed generally the lowlands resemble fields of grain, for the high grass had been turned yellow by the Sun; such with little variation was the Country we passed through for 15 Miles, until at 6 O'Clock we established our Quarters for the Night on one of those convenient and pleasant looking Flats.

This I thought was the first commodious sleeping-place we had encountered; we were now becoming accustomed to the business of rendering ourselves comfortable in the Forest; we had delicious Weather and abundance of every thing, including cheerfulness.

From the long reach to this Spot, we found not less than Eight feet Water in the Chanel of the River; the Water was perfectly good and pleasant, but the tide still seemed to have an influence, for the height of the River was a foot less in the morning than at night.

At day light of the 13th, we were as usual in motion and observed little variation in the appearance of the Land as we ascended, except that the Hills on the Banks were higher and more frequent, and the Soil upon them of a coarser description. They are here composed of a red Sand Stone, red clay, and an ochry loam, varying in colour between red, brown, blue, and yellow; the Soil on the lowlands continued as good as ever. About an hour after starting, we had the misfortune to Staye the Cutter on a Sunken Tree; lead and fearnought however speedily effected a cure, and we continued to pursue our course amid increasing difficulties from similar obstructions and from the decreasing width of the Stream. The hills around us were high, and we ascended them with ease; but it was in vain that we sought a view of the Country; we were the more disappointed because its character was evidently changing; at length after several halts we reached, about 11 o'clock, a Spot where the River takes an Eastern direction just above a considerable Creek on the left hand; we there found unsurmountable obstructions to our further progress, in fact we had reached the termination; for beyond this there was the Bed of a torrent, but no longer a River; nor even a continuation of Water, except in a succession of distant parts. Here then on a high bank we pitched our Tent; the richness of the Soil, the bright foliage of the Shrubs, the majesty of the surrounding Trees, the abrupt and red coloured banks of the River occasionally seen, and the view of the blue summits of the Mountains, from which we were not far distant, made the scenery around this Spot as bieutiful as anything of the kind I had ever witnessed.

The hot Season of the day was fully occupied in the various operations of encamping, exploring and observing the latitude. When it became cool, I set off with a Party for the hills; but the distance was greater than we supposed, and the Sun was setting when we reached the summit. The height of the position we attained was probably 1,200 feet above the Plain; the Country to the Eastward was intercepted from our view by the Mountains in that direction, and the Sea was also rendered invisible either by distance or the ridge of Hills which skirts it; but, although our expectations were disappointed as to the two objects just mentioned, they were more than gratified by the view, which we contemplated beneath us. As far as the eye could carry Northward, Southward, and Westward lay extended an immense plain covered in general with Forest and varied by occasional eminences and glimpses of the River winding through it.

It was already dark when we began to descend; we had Seven Miles to go through the Forest, but we were not unaccustomed to Steer by night, and after three hours smart walking our Signal Musket Shot was replied to by one in the neighbourhood of the Camp. Mr. Frazer had very kindly and considerately sent out Scouts, and we reached our Quarters about Nine O'clock.

On the following Morning, the 14th, Mr. Frazer with a Party set out for the Hills to the Eastward, Messrs. Belches and Heathcote to those in a Northern direction, and Mr. Clause and myself explored the Country to the Westward of the Camp. The discoveries of the first party were many curious and interesting Botanical specimens and a lump of Granite from the ridge, they also saw an Emu but did not secure him; Mr. Belches found a considerable Lake of Fresh Water to the Northward near the foot of the Mountains; and the result of my expedition was the discovery of a Fresh Water Lagoon and a bieutiful running brook watering several hundred Acres of natural Meadow, covered even at this Season of the Year with rich green herbaceous grass.

Neither of these Parties encountered any Natives, but we found several deserted encampments where their ajaupa or huts still remained; we had afterwards reason to believe that they frequent the high grounds only during winter, and that at this time they were still on the Coast engaged in Fishing.

The Evening was employed by us in making a Garden on the Tongue of Land, which intervenes between the River and the Creek; we found there, as indeed it was all around us, rich soil of great depth; the ground had been cleared by fire a few weeks, before and was ready to receive Seed; we planted various Sorts and more particularly abundance of Potatoes and Peach Trees. On the following Morning, the time I had fixed for our departure arrived, and, I believe much to the sorrow of the Party generally, we commenced our descent. The Gig was stove soon after starting but speedily cobled up; we continued with the Stream and wind to descend rapidly; at 11 we stopped to Dinner, and being anxious to move forward resumed our Journey at 2. Mr. Belches found in the neighbourhood of this spot Two Lakes, one of Salt, the other, Fresh Water; at 6 we passed the fires of our first Friends in the River, and a little after dark landed for the Night at Point Garling, having accomplished a great day's work. On the Morning of the 16th, we were at Point Frazer very early, and understanding now the nature of the Shoals we had both the Boats below them and reladen by Noon. We then proceeded to Point Heathcote, which I had fixed upon for a resting place on our route; there I had discovered from the Top of a high Hill that the Branch, which the French named Entree Moreau and called it an Arm of the Sea, extended for 7 or 8 Miles to the S.S.E. I determined therefore to ascertain its nature, and I despatched Mr. Belches in the Gig to explore it; this he accordingly did, and on his return two days afterwards I learnt that, after tracing it for 20 Miles, he found it to be a fresh Water river, similar in every respect to the one we had just descended. It appears to collect the Streams from the Mountains to the Southward, and conveys them into Melville Water.

I Sailed in the Cutter from Point Heathcote in the evening and reached the Ship about Midnight. On our course, we observed several Natives on the banks fishing by torch light and had a great deal of unintelligible conversation with them, and had every reason to suppose that they were not maliciously inclined.

On my return to the Ship, I found my Instructions had been obeyed as to Soundings for a Channel to Beuache Island but unsuccessfully. I therefore resolved to leave her for the remainder of our stay here at her present Anchorage, and immediately commenced the Survey of the surrounding Islands and Banks.

As the history of these operations contains nothing interesting but the result, I shall briefly say that, after four days of exertion, we were enabled to consider the following Services executed:—

The discovery of a Channel of not less than 5 fathoms from Sea in to Cockburn Sound.

A Channel of 3¼ fathoms from the Ship's Anchorage into Gages Roads.

The Satisfactory exploration of those Two Anchorages. A Survey of the entrance to Melville Water.

An exploration of the Coasts and Bays of Beuache Island and the Main opposite.

A considerable Garden at Woodman's Cove Beuache Island. Another Garden at Point Heathcote.

The discovery of Fresh Water at both of those Places, and of a Mineral Spring near Arthur's Heads.

The various duties effected on the 20th, we sent to Beuache Island a Cow, Two Ewes in Lamb, and Three Goats, where on abundance of grass awaited them, and a large Pool of Water, which we had prepared for their use; on the 21st we unmoored, weighed and crossed the Bank to the Southward into Gage's Roads; on the 22nd at Noon, having finished all that the time allowed me to remain here would permit, we bore up with the Sea breeze and ran along the Coast to the Northward at a distance varying from 1 to 2½ Miles in 7 fathoms Water. The Land immediately on the Shore became more Sandy and sterile as we receded on this course from Swan River, but the interior, whenever it could be seen over the sand downs, presented a Woody and green aspect. At Sun Set we were 35 Miles from Rottenest, and could see the Coast 20 Miles further, and, as the bottom became Rocky and the Soundings irregular, I here hauled off Shore and at that point terminated my inspection of the West Coast to the Northward of Swan River.

On the 23rd in the afternoon, the Land in the neighbourhood of Cape Bouvard of the French was in sight; I had seen it from Beuache Island and here I resumed the inspection of the Coast; we stood in with a fresh Sea breeze and, when it became dark, being within 5 Miles of the Shore, the weather fine, the Soundings regular and the Water very Smooth, I anchored in 9 fathoms on a Sandy bottom.

At day light the view of the Coast was very pleasing, a high and regularly shaped conical mountain occupied the middle of the picture and was the most distant Land visible. Between us and it, there was a succession of descending ridges or rather a plain inclining to the Sea Shore, covered with Timber; the sand downs, which skirted the white Sand beach, were not bare nor devoid of verdure and beauty. The Sun rising behind the mountain shed every variety of colour over the scene before us; we were now under Sail and making the best of our way to the Southward with the declining breeze at 2 Miles from the Shore. At 2 O'Clock, we were close in with the entrance of Port Leschenault, and at Sun Set anchored 5 Miles to the Southward of it in 9 fathoms Water. The regularity of the Soundings on this part of the Coast is truly astonishing. At 30 Miles off, there is 30 fathoms Water, at 10 Miles 15, and at 2—6, and this gradation of depth seems to prevail in every line of approach towards the Coast. As the bottom is thus regulated with certainty and precision, so equally appear the Hours at which the winds commence and resign their reign, the Sea breeze setting in at 11 and the Land Wind coming off at 8.

On the Morning of the 24th, we were coasting along the Shore with a light breeze; as the Head of the Bay is approached, the distant Hills seem to retire backward; there are no longer Sand downs to be seen, but only a Sandy Beach. The Country seems flatter, but not very different from that portion of the great Plain immediately behind Swan. River, and of which it is a continuation. At 8 O'Clock, we were near the River Vasse of the French and saw some Natives on the Shore; here the depth forbids a near approach to the Shore. At Nine we saw something like a small opening into a Lagoon, and presently after 20 Natives on the beach; they continued to follow our course along the Shore and seemed eager not to be too late. At 11 the Water Shoaling, I sent a Boat to proceed parralel with the Shore, keeping in 3 fathoms; and at Noon we had compleated the circuit of the Eastern and Southern Shores of the Bay. Our attendants were here reinforced by another Tribe—or detachment of the same. The Women and Children retired into the Bush, and the Warriors kept up with our Boat. There were many fine specimens of Military tactics practised by them, all of which were visible to us from the Ship; but, as their gestures and actions did not seem hostile, the Boat continued her course not far from them; one at last, who seemed the general, left his Spears behind him and, advancing upon a projecting rock, stripped himself of his only garment a kangaroo Skin to shew he had no concealed Arms; he seemed so vehemently desirous of an interview that the Boat backed in and gave him a knife and two or three little presents. Shortly after we anchored and I sent Mr. Belches provided with many little articles to open a communication with them; in this he fully succeeded, and ultimately out of the 16 Natives brought two on board; we entertained them with Meat and Drink and Clothes, and they returned to their Tribe, astonished, delighted, and in perfect amity with us. As it was now the time of the Autumnal Equinox, we had reason to expect unsettled Weather. On the following day it blew a gale of wind from the S.S.W. with Thunder, Lightning and Rain, but we were sheltered from its force by the Land.

The 10th and 11th of March were given to the exploration of the Country at this place and the following results were obtained.

We ascertained that, on the Western Shore of this Bay, there is a ridge of Hills of a moderate elevation, whose base covers a surface of 7 or 8 Miles in breadth from East to West, and of 50 or 60 Miles in length from North to South, terminated by our neighbour Cape Naturalist on one hand, and on the other by Cape Leuwin.

Landward to the East a Plain or undulating Country stretches away until it meets the base of General Darling's range, which at this point is distant 50 Miles probably from the Coast. This plain is covered with large Timber, and displays the rich and lovely verdure of a Country frequently Watered by Showers. The Southern Shore of this Bay, and which bounds it on one side, is low, and I may venture to say, Swamps and Lagoons would be found behind the beach; the quantity of Metrasideros seen growing there indicates Water; but unlike the Mangrove it shews that Water to be fresh.

The Sea ridge occupied and interested us much; the Soil of its Valleys was exceedingly rich and even; the high lands were covered with a tolerable good sandy loam, but it was in its Geological structure and its mineral productions that we found the scene of its greatest attractions. As I shall examine it closely as to these points in another part of this Report, I shall not dilate upon them here.

The Western Shore of the Bay offers good Anchorage all along its Coast, and, in the Bays which indent it, security from all winds except those from N.N.W. and N.E. The ground is generally tenacious, varying between Sand and Clay and having occasionally towards the Shore lumps of Granite Rock. The latter may always be seen and avoided in any depth less than 10 fathoms. Wood is here abundant for the use of Ships, and whenever we sought we found Water. The Northern part of this range indeed is flowing with Streams, but some are Mineral, some saline, some chalybeate, and many pure fresh and agreeable; of the latter sort Mr. Belches found a source large enough to be called a River, gushing from the side of the Solid Limestone Rock and rushing to the Sea half a Mile distant with a considerable noise. At the same time, although there is abundance of fresh water, I am not at liberty to call it at present a convenient watering-place, although I do not doubt that it may hereafter become so.

Our Friends the Natives were constantly in attendance whenever we landed; they were harmless, lively, and extremely inquisitive into the fact of our white complexions; it was not until after repeated trials by rubbing and washing that they would be persuaded that our white colour was not a deception; their Physical character will be stated hereafter; their curiosity seemed insatiable, and to this I must attribute the only instance of Theft which fell within my knowledge. I had been among the Hills and found them near the Boat when I returned; while awaiting the rest of the Party, I stood at their fire which they had kindled to warm themselves during the rain; to amuse them I took out my Note Book and made a Sketch of a Man opposite, and returned the Book into my Pocket. No London adept could have removed it more adroitly from thence than the Man we called the General did, and I should not have recovered it, had not my Coxswain perceived it under his Cloak.

On the 25th, the weather having moderated and having now extended my stay on this Coast to the very last day, which in reference to my Orders I could, with propriety prolong it, we weighed from our Anchorage, and passing round the Cape, directed our course for Cape Leuwin; for several days we had sight of that point, and on the 2nd April Anchored in King George's Sound; on the day following, having been able to hear nothing of our Cutter. I concluded that she had been unable to get to the Westward, and had returned to Port Jackson; to that place therefore we proceeded and re-entered it on the 15th April after and absence of three Months.

Observations on the Territory.

The only part of the Western Coast of New Holland visited by the "Success" is included within the four Southermost Degrees of Latitude, and it is that portion only which I shall now attempt to describe.

General Aspect.

From Cape Leuwin to Geographe Bay, the Coast line is formed by a range of Hills of uniform and moderate elevation. Their base is a fine grained granite Shooting up pinnacles into the superincumbent strata. These appear in the usual order of succession observed among Rocks of primitive formation. The Granite is followed by Gneiss or a stratified rock nearly resembling it; above the Gneiss are Schistose strata, displaying great variety of colour, texture, and material; then follows Sand Stone or Toadstone of varying thickness, and over these latter, divided from them by an accurately drawn horizontal line, a bed of compact limestone, sections of which were seen 200 feet in depth; such was the order observed among the Cliffs Eastward from Cape Naturalist.

The Strata of Schistose have a general inclination or dip of about 20° and their Longitudinal line of bearing is from W.N.W. to E.S.E. These are traversed by considerable veins of Quartz, Mica and Felspar, some of which are highly Metalliferous; but I do not consider myself competent to apply a Name to any of the Metals they contain except to large Masses of Magnetic Iron Ore, so pure that a Common loadstone would take up in a crude state portions of it as large as a bean.

The disintegration of the Toadstone, mouldering away under the influence of the Atmosphere, has left under the limestone cliffs, many magnificent Caverns; some of these are remarkable for their extent and some for the bieutiful stalactites and incrustations which they contain. Mineral and Saline Springs gush out at frequently occurring distances, and, in some of the caves, considerable deposits of Common Salt and Carbonate of Soda are found. The Toadstone contains many testaceous fossils, and the Limestone several of vegetable origin. The Soil in the upper part of this range is thin and sandy, but it supports a variety of the smaller and hardier Plants of these regions. The face of the Hills towards the West is however either bare rock or hopeless Sea Sand.

From Geographe Bay, as far Northward as we visited it, the Coast Line is formed by a Limestone ridge, varying in height from 20 to 600 feet, and extending onward from the Shore from 1 to 5 Miles; in some parts the Sand blown up from the beach by the Sea breeze has invaded these Hills and covered them, and this invariably where the Coast is not protected by exterior banks or Islands. In the deep part of Geographe Bay and behind the Islands near Rottenest, the Sand retains its place on the beach, and the Land behind it produces there a richer sort of vegetation. Behind this Limestone (whose occasional naked and barren appearance probably caused the early and continued prejudices against the fertility of this Coast) commences the great plain of "Quartania." This occupies a space of undetermined length from South to North, but varying in breadth from 20 to 50 Miles. At its Western termination, it skirts the base of an almost continued and abrupt chain of Mountains, which I have named General Darling's range; some of these Mountains attain considerable height; one whose elevation I had an opportunity of measuring was visible 55 Miles from us, and I cannot consider it less than 3,000 feet high; it is the highest of the Chain, although I have very strong reason to suppose that a range of much greater elevation exists at no great distance to the Eastward.

The average height of "General Darling's range" is between 12 and 1,500 feet; its base is granite, bare rocks of which are occasionally exposed to view at or near its summit. The Superior regions are rocky and rendered rugged by masses, which have been hurled from preoccupied positions. Lumps of Quartz and Limestone were found spread about, together with Nodules of Common Iron Stone. These Hills have to boast of little soil, but the Stringy Bark finds sustenance there, and that with a few other hardy plants are all their Vegetable wealth.

As the Hills are descended, the Soil improves, and, at about a Mile from their base, fragments of Rocks and large grained Quartz or Sand give place to a red loamy Soil, which gradually passes into the general average Soil of the plain; for the qualities of that soil, I refer to the Report * of Mr. Frazer who is a much better judge than I am.

[* Note 118.]

The geological Structure of this Country will be clearly perceived by the following recapitulation:—

First, The Limestone ridge of an average breadth of 3 Miles on the Sea Shore, then the plain, an undulating Valley of an average breadth of 30 Miles, and lastly the mountain range rising abruptly from the plain to the height of 1,200 feet and extending North and South on a line parallel with the Coast and apparently co-extensive with it.

The temperature here takes wide ranges according to the region and the time of day under consideration: On the Coast, the Thermometer on Ship Board during one Month's experience averaged 72°, its extremes being 84° and 59°, the first extreme occurring at Noon and the last usually about midnight. Immediately on the Shore the temperature is regulated by the Sun, the Wind, and the Sandy Soil; there the range is greater than on board Ship. On the plain also the temperature varies from the great heat of 84 at Noon to 59 at two hours after midnight. On the Mountains we found a very great difference, the Atmosphere there being 15° colder than that of the plain.

It is worthy of remark that the Sea breeze on this Coast is usually at S.S.W. and is therefore charged with moisture and very cool; this moderates the action of the Sun in Summer, while at the same time, when condensed by the colder air of the Mountains behind the Coast, the vapor it conveys descends in showers.

It is also remarkable that the Land Wind, blowing from these mountains, is a cold wind, for it lowers the Thermometer to 59° even on the heated Plain; and from the alternate operation of these two winds, which seldom leave an intervening calm, the air, notwithstanding the Sun's great heat, is cool and agreeable except in spots, which are sheltered from the breeze or during calms. I observed that the coldest Land Winds were from E.N.E., and in that direction I expect to learn hereafter that Snowy Mountains are situated.

The hot Season of the day lasts but a few hours, as the heat even then is mitigated by Sea breezes, and at night by the Land wind. The ranges in temperature are neither sufficiently great nor long enough continued to injure the health of Man. In my opinion the Climate considered with reference to health is highly salubrious, but I here beg leave to make an extract from a report made to me in this subject by the Surgeon of the "Success."

H.M.S. Success at Sea, 31st March, 1827.


     Having formed one of the party on your late Survey of Swan River, I beg to offer a few remarks on the state of the Climate. I am decided in my opinion that it is the most healthy part of the Globe I have visited, having proof positive from the state of my Sick List from our arrival off King George's Sound to our return, a lapse of a Month, during which time I had only slight cases of Colds, etc. I beg leave also to remark the extreme fatigue the whole of us underwent at different times, half naked and immersed up to our necks in water under the rays of a hot Sun; 2nd in Sleeping for nine successive nights in the open air, having our Hammocks merely slung from Tree to Tree, and at times in the immediate neighbourhood of Swampy Lands; 3rd from being under constant excitability from bodily exertion during the whole of the day, pulling in the Boats, and in this high state of perspiration drinking plentifully of cold Water alongside, which was almost impossible to prevent them from doing; yet from all these unfavorable circumstances, my Sick List has not been increased except a slight case of Rheumatism, which occurred about 8 or Ten days after our return. I beg leave also to state that the degree of heat was not oppressive, although the Quick Silver during the day generally ranged from about 80° to 84° degrees; when the Sea breeze prevailed, it would lower to about 78°; at Night the range would generally be from 60 to about 68°, depending entirely upon the Land wind which made it delightfully cool and refreshing.

I have, &c.,
J. R. Clause, Surgeon.

Considered with respect to labour, the Climate is not so warm as to prevent Europeans from carrying on the operations of Agriculture. If the heat of the Summer days between 11 and 3 be avoided, I know of no Country which will admit of greater bodily exertion. The Mornings and Evenings are delightfully cool, and the nights almost invariably brilliant and clear.

After the representation, I have given of the prevailing winds and Weather, I need scarcely state that the Climate is favorable to Vegetation. The verdant appearance and almost innumerable variety of Grasses, Plants and Trees skew that there is no deficiency in the three great sources of their Sustenance, Soil, Heat, or Moisture.

On the subject of the Botanical products of the Country, it is impossible for me to add anything to the report of Mr. Frazer hereunto appended. I beg leave however to offer here my testimony, as to the Zeal, Industry and perseverance with which he pursued the line of his duty.

The rains, which fall on this Coast Westward of General Darling's range, flow downward to the Sea on that side. The River Vasse of the French,* Port Leschenault, and Melville Water are Estuaries, which receive the several Streams descending from the Hills; and these at present are the only receptacles of any great extent known to exist. We found a great number of Creeks or Rivulets falling into Swan River, more particularly on the Eastern side; and I am inclined to think that the Country generally is much divided by such Water courses. Its Supply of Fresh Water from Springs and Lagoons is abundant, for we found such whenever we thought it necessary to ascertain their existance.

[* Note 119.]

At Point Heathcote, we met with a remarkable instance, for there the beach of a narrow rocky promontory is a bed of springs, and by tracing the Finger along any part within 4 inches of the edge of the Salt Water pure cool fresh Water instantly occupied the trace; at Beuach Island also we found fresh Water by digging on the Shore; but, as I had some doubt whether it might not arise from the loss of Saline particles by the Salt Water filtering through the Sand, I had a well made 50 Yards from the Shore, and it was instantly filled by fresh Water. I then perceived that the Water issuing from Springs in the Limestone Rocks is held back by the greater gravity of the Sea Water, while at the same time it is prevented from evaporating by the Sand and Soil above it. It appears that fresh Water in such a Country may always be expected to be found near the point of Contact between Sea and Land, or at a height just above high Water mark. On the whole it may confidently be assumed that fresh Water is plentiful all over this Territory.

In this Territory as well as in all Countries of Limestone formation, mineral Springs are abundant. Within half a Mile of Arthur's head a saline Spring exists, bubbling out at the base of the Solid Rock in a stream, whose transverse area is 6 or 7 feet, running at the rate of three feet a second. I shall not pretend to state its qualities or compound parts. It is however Thermal and pleasant, and some, who partook of it, attributed to it an aperient power.

In the Neighbourhood of Cape Naturalist also, we found several Mineral springs; and, in one instance in the interior far above any Agency of the Sea, Mr. Belches found the dried up basin of a Salt Lagoon.

On concluding this view of the Country as regards its supply of Water, I cannot but suggest the probability there is of a great River being found Eastward of the mountain range, and flowing probably to the Northward.

No such River has its Embouchure on the South Coast, nor does such exist on the West Coast as far as examined by us; yet there must be an outlet to the rains which fall there, and which from the nature of the Weather must be considerable in Winter and frequent in all other Seasons.

In Physical endowments and qualities, the Native Inhabitants of this shore resemble closely the race of New South Wales. They have the same distinctive marks in the make of their persons, large Heads, spare Trunks, long and disproportioned limbs. They are active and hardy in habit, and seem to possess the qualities usually springing from such habits; Bravery, Vivacity, and Quickness, and a Temper alternating between kindness and ferocity.

The intention I adopted on arriving here was to avoid by every possible means a quarrel with them, and the necessity consequent thereon of rendering hostile to future Settlers in revenge for the severe measures we should be obliged to take if put on our defence. I am happy to say that in this plan I was not disappointed, for, after many communications with them, we departed without any misunderstanding, and indeed on terms of amity with several Tribes. In general they wear Kangaroo Cloaks with the exception of which they were naked. Their Arms are the Spear and Womera, differing very little from those made use of on the East Coast. Their numbers are considerable when it is remembered that the sources which supply Food are so precarious. For this in Summer they frequent the Sea Coast, where their skill in spearing Fish is truly wonderful. In Winter they inhabit the higher grounds, where the Kangaroo, the Opossum, the Land Tortoise, several species of Birds and roots compose their sustenance.

They seem to have no idea of Navigation, not even of a raft. They fish either with the Spear or Weirs planted in Shoal places. They may easily be attached to the interest and Persons of Settlers, but care must be taken in all intercourse with them for they are capricious and revengeful and always ready to resort to offensive measures. It was evident to us that we were objects of new and excessive astonishment, and they were so to us in some degree; but I was more particularly surprised at hearing them use the terms "Kangaroo," where we touched their Cloaks, "Wallebie" "Walle Walle" and "Wollamia," when we shewed them a particular kind of Fish; these are all Port Jackson terms.

Kangaroo, Opossum and Tortoise are the only Land Animals, whose existence we can answer for here; the Native Dog we heard occasionally at night but did not see him. Of Reptiles the Amount is short. Lizards and Guannas were seen, and one Snake only the whole time we were there; it was however the dry Season, during which it is probable they remain torpid in their retreats.

Of Birds the List is longer; there are found here the Emu, and in the greatest abundance Swans and several varieties of the Duck Tribe, Cockettoos white and Black; a new species of the first colour was seen in great bieuty; Pigeons, Quails, and Parroquets were also numerous, and to the abovementioned may be added some Birds of very melodious Note, which were heard but not seen.

We saw many Seals on the Islands, but all of the hair or least valuable Species; it was not the Season for Whales but their wrecks strewed the Shore of Geographe Bay. Sharks were enormous and numerous, and Fish generally exist here in great abundance. The Bottom of the Sea is composed of a calcareous Sand, sometimes passing into marl or clay. On this there are endless varieties of Marine Plants, and these seem to form the sustenance of quantities of small fish.

When it is considered that the bank extends a hundred Miles from the Shore, and, whenever the bottom is seen, presents a moving picture of various Animals gliding over the green Surface of the bottom, it is not too much to look forward to the time when a valuable fishery may be established on these Shores. As it is now, a Boat with one or two Men in her might be filled in a few hours, and a luxurious addition be made at a Cheap rate to the food of Inhabitants.

Of Shells, there is the greatest abundance; they are thrown up on the Beach in beds of several feet in thickness.

The reported Sterility of Soil, the absence of fresh Water and the impossibility of finding safe anchorage on the West Coast of New Holland have been long looked upon as insurmountable objections to its being Settled; the first two of these objections are met and obviated by the facts stated in the preceeding part of this Report, and I am now to shew to what extent the third objection is founded on fact.

Anchorage on the Coast under consideration, which afford protection from Southerly and S.W. winds, may be considered Safe except in Winter, the following are of this description:—

The Bay nearest Cape Naturalist is objectionable as a permanent anchorage, for, being near the Cape, a heavy Swell rolls into it at all times and the bottom is not clear of Rocks. An Anchorage for temporary purposes however may be found in it in 4 fathoms, the Northern extremity bearing about N. by W. ½ W. The ore which is found in the Neighbouring Cliffs, the fresh Water Streams around it, or the curing of Fish on its Shores may render a more exact Survey of that part hereafter valuable.

The Second Bay is the one in which we anchored; the exterior Northern Point bore N.W. W., having for bottom an extremely tenacious Stiff clay, from which it was difficult to extract the Anchor; we were then ¾ of a Mile froth the Beach in the middle of the Bay, near which were 4 fathoms and Smooth Water, the point then bearing N.W. b. N.

The third Bay, I understood from Mr. Belches report, offers shelter as far as N.N.W., and in his opinion is a preferable Anchorage to the one we occupied, there being no symptom on the Shore of any boisterous Sea ever having acted on it, while we found fresh Water Springs behind the Beach, good Soil in the Valley, and abundance of Wood.

Beyond the 3rd Bay, the Coast takes the direction of South for 2 or 2½ Miles, and small Vessels may Anchor all along it near the Shore, having the Northern extremity of the Land about N. ½ W. or N. b. W. from them.

In that corner of Geographe Bay, there is not a great depth of Water; but the bottom seems clear of Rocks and the Beach is accessible. Indeed all along the Shore of Geographe Bay, from Cape Naturalist nearly as low down as Cape Bouvard, boats may land on the Beach and Vessels Anchor off it with Southerly Winds; and, as these and the Land breeze prevail for at least Nine Months, a Coasting Trade might derive benefit from such facility of communication.

The bar Harbours moreover at Port Lechenault and River Vasse offer asylum to small Vessels; upon the whole it may be said that Geographe Bay and its neighbourhood offer good Anchorage to Vessels in the proper seasons and the capability of Shipping or Landing Cargoes on an extent of Coast of 60 or 70 Miles.

Twenty Miles Northward of Cape Bouvard there is a Passage or narrow Strait about a Mile broad, between a projecting point of the Main Land and the South end of Buache Island; this passage, as reported to me by the Master of the Success, admits not the entry of Vessels drawing more than 6 feet; reefs extend from each Side, leaving a Channel between their extremities, but there is a Shoal Bank inside of them which blocks up the entrance. He found no Island in the Channel as marked on the French Charts, nor did I see any in the view I had of it from the Main Land. I saw the Sea breaking on the Rocks nearly all across, and I suppose the French mistook the point for an Island, not being near enough to observe the sandy ishmus behind it. I shall not attempt to describe in detail the various Rocks Islands and Banks, which extend Northerly from Cape Bouvard to the North side of Rottenest. The Chart will explain their relative positions. I advert however to the following Anchorages:—

First.—On the N.E. side of Rottenest, there is very good temporary Anchorage with the usual Coast Winds and Weather.

Second.—Off the Mouth of the River and not far from it, there is an excellent Roadstead for Vessels of any Size, the Water is smooth, the bottom good, the depth from 3 to 12 fathoms, the communication with the Shore convenient, and the access easy as well by night as day. It is sheltered by Islands, or banks, or by the Main Land on every point except from N.N.W. to W.N.W. It is much Superior in security to Table Bay, as well as in its closeness to the Shore, and offering at all times facilities for landing or embarking. It has this further advantage that there a Vessel may lie in 4 or 5 fathoms within one Cable's length from the River's mouth or from the Beach in Gage's Bay.

Thirdly.—To the Southward of Arthur's Head, there is a Bay sheltered on all points, but the depth is not more than 2 fathoms, and it is only fit for small Vessels.

Fourthly.—Port Success is sheltered on all sides by the Main, or by islands, Rocks or banks; it is not however convenient and, although secure, I cannot recommend it for general purposes.

Fifth.—The best Anchorage however on this Coast is in Cockburn Sound; there is a Channel into it from Sea with not less than 5 fathoms of Water in it When a Ship is in the Sound, there are variable Soundings from 15 fathoms downward, and the holding ground good and clear except on the banks which are easily perceived.

Near the Island Side of the Sound, the only points, on which the land is not seen, are from North to N.E., but the Main Land at the distance of 20 or 30 Miles covers that Space, and moreover the Sea, that might be raised by so long a reach, is prevented reaching the Sound by a tripple barrier of Shoal Water banks, on the nearest of which there are only 1½ and 2 fathoms. I do not scruple to call it at all times perfectly Secure and available for Vessels of the greatest dimensions, as well as for any number of them.

Middle Bay in Isle Beuache has 7 fathoms Water close to its Beach; the Main Land also has a smooth and accessible Shore with deep Water all along it, except on the Shoal parts indicated on the Chart.

Although no objection to the Security of this Anchorage can exist, one may be made to its inconvenience for Merchant Ships who have Cargoes to deliver in Swan River, the distance to which is 6 or 7 Miles. To this I reply they need not occupy Cockburn Sound except in Seasons when N.W. gales may be expected; at other times Gage's Roads will be both safe and convenient.

The entrance to Melville Water between the Heads is over a bar; there is a Channel with 6 feet Water on it at low water. It is only practicable therefore for Boats. About a Mile inside the Heads the Water deepens, and then commences a succession of Natural Cliffs or Wharfs with 4, 5 and 6 fathoms close to their sides. For several Miles upward there are from 6 to 8 fathoms over a large expanse of Water.

The magnificent Bason there displayed would be the first Harbour in the World if it had an entrance; and such an entrance might be made without difficulty or great expense.

The Rivers here are tolerably convenient for Boat Navigation, and might be easily rendered sufficiently so to transport by Water Carriage the products of an immense extent of Country.

Such is the nature and description of the Ports and Anchorages existing on the part of the Coast I visited. Their value is not to be estimated solely by their own merits, but it is to be remembered that as yet no other is known to exist on the whole of the Western Coast except Sharks Bay, where the heat of the Climate and the Sterility of the Soil prevent the possibility of Settlement.

With respect to the Navigation of the Coast generally, the known alternations of Land and Sea breezes and the general Southerly Trade wind offer fair winds to Vessels, whichever way they may be bound. I cannot say what sort of weather the Winter brings, but in Summer it is generally clear and moderate; and the Soundings are so regular and procurable at such great distance from the Land that Navigators must be both safe and easy in this Neighbourhood. I subjoin an estimate of the passages, which would probably be made by a fast Sailing Vessel between Cockburn Sound Estimate oround and various parts of the World.

From Cockburn Sound to—
Place. Distance. Winds. Time on passage.
Timor 1,500 SE   12 days
Java 1,700   "   13    "
Madras 3,400   "   30    "
Ceylon 3,100   "   28    "
Isle France 3,400   "   21    "
Cape Good Hope 5,000   "   30    "
England—This passage may be made in   "   84    "
Van Dieman's Land 2,200 S.W.   42    "
Port Jackson 2,500   "   50    "

To Cockburn Sound from—
Place. Distance. Winds. Time on passage.
Timor 1,500 SE   12 days
Java 1,700   "   13    "
Madras 3,400   "   30    "
Ceylon 3,100   "   28    "
Isle France 3,400   "   21    "
Cape Good Hope 5,000   "   30    "
England—This passage may be made in   "   84    "
Van Dieman's Land 2,200 S.W.   42    "
Port Jackson 2,500   "   50    "


Sources of Production.

Agriculture.—The Spontaneous products of this Country immediately available for Commercial or economical purposes are neither numerous nor very valuable; among such however the following Articles may be noticed:—

Natural Grasses in great abundance, and well adapted for the support of Cattle.

Various Sorts of Gums.

Timber capable of being converted to Ship Building, such as The Stringy Bark, The Blue and the Water Gum Trees, Banksia and Casuarina.

There is also here the species of Eucalyptus called in New South Wales "Apple Tree" and usually applied to House Building.

This Country however is more valuable for that which it might produce, than for its actual productions. Situated in a Climate which admits of Labour, possessing great varieties of excellent Soil, well Watered by Springs, Creeks and refreshing Showers, and offering, under the influence of a powerful Sun, great ranges in temperature according to the height of position occupied, It appears to hold out every attraction that a Country in a State of nature can possess.

It is unnecessary to particularize the Articles which might here be raised. Its resemblance in all material points connected with this portion of the Subject to the States of America, situated to the South of New York, will sufficiently explain its agricultural resources. There are however certain advantages which it possesses in a peculiar degree. There are the facilities of communication with the Sea, the ease with which it appears the Country may be penetrated without the necessity of commencing immediately upon the arduous measure of Road Making, and the open character of the Forest Land which would enable a Settler at once to draw a large profit upon a small outlay of Capital or Labour.

Minerals.—There are several interesting points for consideration suggested by the List of Minerals discovered in our hasty inspection. I shall however allude to those only, of whose nature and properties I am assured.

First.—Stone and Lime in abundance conveniently situated for general purposes.

Clay of various qualities, such as Marl.

Decomposed Felspar of an uncommon kind which although soft becomes as hard as rock by a week's exposure to Air.

Brick Clay.

Potters Clay.


Calcareous Alabaster.

A bieutiful Species of Applegreen Porphyry with large grains of rock crystal interspersed in it.

Many varieties of granite for Ornamental Architecture.

The only ores, whose existence in any quantity I feel assured of, are common Iron Stone in nodules and magnetic Iron ore very rich and plentiful and close to the Sea.

Coal was not found, simply I believe because it was not particularly sought for. The general character of the Country is such as to Warrant the belief that it might be found, for all the concomitant Strata, or members of the Coal formation, are exposed on different parts of the surface, below which I had no opportunity to explore. Indeed the Carboniferous or metalliferous order of Rocks is that which is most frequently exhibited throughout this Territory, and I have no doubt important results would arise from a proper examination into its mineralogical resources.

A Bank of 20 or 30 Leagues in Breadth composed principally of Lime, Clay and Sand fronts this Coast, and may be found a good fishing Station, Whether the fish would prove capable of being cured for exportation, I cannot positively say. Whale fishing might be carried on with great profit by means of Boats on this Coast. Sealing would also be found profitable here to a certain extent.

Sharks' Fins, which are much in demand in China, might be procured in quantity, and from the report of Captain King a Trepang Fishery might be profitably established at and to the Northward of Sharks Bay.

There various marine productions would afford a profit to the Capital engaged in procuring them and employment to many seafaring Persons.

The Shortness of the Voyage between this Country and the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, the indian Peninsula, and the Indian Archipelago, would afford an easy and profitable interchange of productions between these Countries. With respect to the Malay Trade, it may be observed that Swan River is better situated than Melville Island or any other place in Torres Straits.

The China Ships outward bound through the Eastern passages might here find not only refreshments, but many Articles to make up a Cargo for the Chinese Market, while an anchorage, safe and easily approachable during the greater part of the Year, would make their arrival and departure Convenient. Ships from England bound to New South Wales might also touch here and perhaps find commodities suited to the wants of the Eastern Coast.

Considered with reference to its becoming a convalescent Station for those whose health may be injured in India, its Situation offers great and important attractions. It is not distant from those Shores; the passage between Short and easily made; its Climate cool, temperate and healthy, and among the various mineral Springs which it contains, perhaps some may be discovered favorable to the removal of Indian Complaints.

In this point of view, it becomes an object of great Interest to the East India Company and to their Servants, and many valuable lives may be preserved by its being adopted by the Company as the site of an extensive hospital establishment for Europeans in their Civil and Military Services.

Its central Situation and easy communication with Neighbouring Countries, as well as its refreshing and invigorating Climate, point it out as a valuable Naval and Military Station. The excellent Anchorage for Ships of War afforded by Cockburn Sound, and which I do not hesitate in representing as superior in convenience to more than equal in safety to Spithead is another recommendation it possesses; and it has this further quality that Troops or Ships, while recovering there from the effects of Service in India, would at the same time form the Guard necessary for its protection.

It now only remains to state that, from Cape Leuwin to Sharks Bay, the neighbourhood of Swan River is the only part where a Port is known to exist. That Port therefore has a value far beyond that which it might have in other circumstances, for it is the Key of the whole intervening Coast.

I am therefore of opinion that it ought to be immediately retained, for the French Nation have the shadow of a right founded on discovery * to a portion of that Coast, which cannot be too speedily extinguished by British occupation, particularly as it will be impossible now to prevent the attractions of that Country from being known.

[* Note 120.]

It is also important to occupy Geographe Bay, its mineral wealth and fertile Territory as well as its convenient Summer Anchorage render it too attractive to be left unguarded. These two places, with a Settlement on their Northern flank at or near Sharks Bay, would probably be sufficient to exclude all foreign intrusion. I also take the liberty to recommend the adoption of a general name for the Western Coast of New Holland. There are many conflicting pretensions to its first and only exploration.** Parts of it are considered by particular Nations as discoveries of their own, and names have been given to such parts, but a general Name which by the way its peculiar and distinct character Warrants would soon render such pretensions forgotten.

[** Note 115.]

The Name of "Hesperia," indicating a Country looking towards the Setting Sun, would be descriptive of the Situation of the Country in question; it would not interfere with any Name previously given, nor would it be subject to the imputation of Nationality.

James Stirling, Captain, R.N.


2.2 [Enclosure No. 2.]

Observations on the Soil, etc., etc., of the Banks of Swan River.

The Soil on the South Head of the entrance of Swan River is a Sterile white Sand, but producing a great variety of interesting Plants.

The Soil on the South Bank, immediately inside the Head, though apparently a barren sand on examination I found to contain at least two thirds of a firm red loam capable of producing Garden and other light crops, and throwing up immense quantities of Plants. This description applies not only to the Banks, as far as Pelican Point, but to the back Country as far as my observation led; the Soil is of very considerable depth.

I was astonished at the vivid green of the Eucalyptus and other Trees and Shrubs, so distinct from those of New South Wales; but, on digging the Soil to the depth of Two feet, I found the cause to arise apparently from the immense number of Springs with which this Country abounds, for, at the above depth, I found the Soil quite Moist though apparently at the latter end of an exceeding dry Season; and from the same cause must arise the great luxuriance of the herbaceous Plants on the Banks, which exceed anything I ever saw on the eastern Coast. They consist principally of Senicias and Souchous frequently attaining the height of nine feet.

Here I observed several moist spots, containing fresh water, which in humid Seasons are the evident channels of active Springs issuing from the Limestone Rocks, by which they are bounded.

The bieuty of the Banks, which, considering its immediate vicinity to the Sea, surpasses anything on the East Coast, is greatly augmented by a bieutiful species of Liptosherminon which in habit, and the situation it holds in the Botany of this Tract, resembles the Weeping Willow of Europe.

The Soil on the North Head is exactly the same as that on the South. Two hundred feet from the Beach it changes to a fine brown loam, improving in quality, as the Hills are ascended, into a fine Virgin earth, capable of forming the finest compost. The small Vallies are exceedingly fertile and capable of producing any crop.

The Country continues of the same description as far as Pelican Point, beyond which the character of the Hills was not ascertained; but I do not hesitate in pronouncing them to be equally fertile as far as my eye carries.

The Limestone, with which they are studded, render them admirably adapted to the culture of Vines, and their being destitute of Timber render them capable of immediate culture.

The few Trees and Shrubs observed on this Tract consist principally of stunted Eucalyptus, Calytrir and Liptosherminon.

The Country from Pelican Point to the entrance of the Moreau is diversified into Hill and Dale, magnificently clothed with Trees of the richest green. Here Banksia Grandis appears in all its splendour, the Genus Eucalyptus forms the principal feature in the Botany. I observed on these Hills an arborescent species of Dryandra, Lamia, Spinalis, several Species of Hakea Grevilia, a magnificent Species of Ciunneria, which is here seen to associate with the Weeping Liptosherminon and forming one of the greatest bieuties of the Landscape; Anchocereis littorea is here found to attain the height of Ten feet.

To a Person accustomed to the Gverbrown of the Woods of Port Jackson, the magnificent scene from Pelican Point would be considered a great treat.

The summit of the above ranges approach nearer to the sandy Soil of Port Jackson than any hitherto seen on the River, but contains more loam. The Vallies and Headlands are fertile and throw up immense quantities of Herbaceous Plants.

The Beaches here produce Water in the greatest abundance for, on scraping up the Sand with our Fingers within two inches of the Salt Water, Fresh Water of the best quality was found. The Country from Point Heathcote to the Islands must improve from the vast quantity of herbage seen on its banks, beyond which our observation did not extend.

The Islands are formed of a rich deposit evidently brought down by the Floods; their Margins are thickly covered with Metrasideras and Casuarinas, and their centre with Submarine Suculent Plants.

It is worthy of remark that during our examination of the River, there was nothing seen of Mangroves, and that their Situation should be occupied by the genus Metrasideros.

At Point Frazer, the first flat is seen formed of a rich deposit but evidently flooded, marks of drift stuff having been seen five feet above the surface. Here are several extensive Salt marshes admirably adapted for the growth of cotton. The Hills are exceedingly barren, but producing an immense variety of Plants; here is seen a magnificent species of Angophera occupying the situation of Eucalyptus. Banksia Grandis was observed three feet in diameter. The brome or Kangaroo grass was here seen in great abundance.

One Mile East of Point Frazer was seen an extensive Lagoon of Fresh Water, covered in its centre with aborescent Metrasideros; its banks produce an amazing quantity of interesting Plants and, with an elevated flat immediately behind, might be cultivated with advantage. The magnificence of the Banksia and aborescent Lamia, which was here seen Thirty feet in height, added to the immense size of the Lantholea of this spot, impart to the forest a character truly tropical.

I was astonished at the facility with which water is obtained on this apparent sandy spot, for, on digging two or three feet, we found abundance of the finest Water I ever tasted.

Five Miles East of Clauses Creek, there is an evident change in the character of the Country. On the left is seen an extensive Plain of the richest description, consisting of an alluvial deposit, equalling in fertility those of the banks of the River Hawksbury in New South Wales, and covered with the most luxuriant brome grass. Here I first observed the Blue and Water Gums and stripes of Wattles.

Here the Casuarina disappears and is succeeded by a pendulous species of Metrasideros, which continues to the source of the River.

From this point the Country resembles in every essential point that of the banks of Rivers falling West of the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, varying alternately, on each bank, from hilly promontories of the finest red loam and covered with stupendous Angoferas, to extensive flats of the finest description, studded with magnificent Blue and Water Gums and occasional stripes of Acacias and Tapileanaceous Shrubs, resembling the green Wattle in New South Wales.

As the River is ascended, the flats increase in breadth, extending for several Miles from the Banks, improving in quality, resembling in character those seen on the Banks of the Macquarie River, West of Wellington Valley; marks of floods were seen on the lower plains two feet above the surface, but the upper flats are evidently never flooded.

On further observations, these Plains were seen to extend to the base of the Mountains, interspersed with stripes of good forest Land, covered with a profusion of Plants and Stupendous Angopheras. Here I observed a quantity of Stringy Bark.

The base of the Mountains is covered with fragments of Quartz and Chalcedony, the Soil is red sandy loam. Further up the Mountains is seen Siennite in considerable beds. Here the Soil improves to a light loam, but from its very nature incapable of culture. The summit is covered with large masses of Iron Stone and enormous Trees of Angophera, but with the exception of a few stragling Plants of Hokea there is no underwood to be seen.

The view from the summit is very extensive, resembling in its outline that seen from Princess Charlotte's Crescent (but void of the Stationary Swamps) in 1817 vide Oxley's Journal.*

[* Note 121.]

In giving my opinion of the Land seen on the Banks of Swan River, I hesitate not in pronouncing it superior to any I ever saw in New South Wales east of the Blue Mountains, not only in its local character but in the many existing advantages, which it holds out to Settlers; these advantages I consider to be.

First.—The evident superiority of Soil.

Secondly.—The facility with which a Settler can bring his Farm into a state of immediate culture, resting upon the open state of the Country, a state which allows not a greater average than 10 trees to an Acre.

Thirdly.—The general abundance of Springs, producing water of the best quality, and the consequent permanent humidity of the Soil, two advantages not existing on the Eastern Coast, and

Fourthly.—The advantage of Water carriage to his Door, and the non-existence of impediments to land carriage.

The Island of Beuache is formed principally of low ridges of light sandy loam, traversing the Island from [    ] to [    ], and terminating on the Shore in high banks of sand, the highest parts of which are thickely studded with Cypress, the surface towards the beach being considerably interrupted by Limestone Rocks.

The Soil, altho' light, appears to me, from the immense thickets of Salunum (lucinatrum bar), which it produces (and which on the ridges is seen to attain the height of ten feet), to be capable of producing any description of light garden crops.

The interior of these ranges are singularly divided by transverse banks or dykes forming deep pits or hollows, which receive all the Water collected or falling from the ranges, the banks preventing its escape otherwise than by absorption; the surface of these hollows are covered by gigantic Salunums, and a bieutiful Species of Brownonia. Fresh Water may be had in each of them by digging two feet deep.

The West Shore of the Island is in many places covered with thickets of an aborescent Species of Metrasideros. The Soil in those thickets is a rich brown loam, intermingled with blocks of lime stone, and susceptible of producing any description of crop.

The Coast towards Port Success is thickly covered with cypress, the bieutiful green of which imparts to the scene an agreeable and elegant appearence. The soil here is very Sandy and in my opinion incapable of producing without artificial means any description of Crops. Here we found abundance of fresh Water not only on the Beach but in the cypress thickets beyond the influence of the Sea by digging a few feet.

My observations did not extend beyond Port Success, but, from the appearence of the Country, I doubt not its being of the same discription as that already described.

On proceeding along the Coast of Bay Geographe, the appearence of the Country is particularly interesting; the Shores are richly clothed with Timber, the foliage is of the finest green, and consisting principally of Eucalyptus; no traces of Banksia were seen.

From the Shore the Country is seen to rise gradually into gentle undulating hills, seperated apparently by Vallies of considerable magnitude, the whole terminated by a bold range of mountains of considerable elevation, thickly clothed with Timber of considerable magnitude and extending inland as far as the eye can carry.

On approaching Cape Naturalist the Shores become bold, presenting immense Masses of Granite projecting in many instances a considerable distance into the Sea. The Hills are bold and only partially covered with stunted Eucalyptus. They are divided by bieutiful meandering Vallies formed of the richest soil immaginable. These vallies are of considerable magnitude; as a proof of their fertility I need only instance the astonishing luxuriance of the Thistles and Ferns, some of which measured 114 feet; each of them is furnished with a small Stream of Water. The Hills, altho' stony, are covered with rich soil to their summit. They are clothed with Banksia Grandis, and a new species of Zylomilam. The Rocks on the summit are Lime.

There appears no visible change in the Soil, or character of the Vallies, as far as Cape Naturalist; but, in the construction and composition of the Rocks, there is a vast difference; there they are seen to present immense Cliffs overhanging the Beach in Awful grandeur. The base of these Rocks are formed of immense beds of Granite and Schistose, passing ultimately into each other, observing in their dip an Angle of Inclination of Fifteen Degrees; they were seen to inclose in many instances large masses of an extraordinary agregate containing petrefactions of bivalve and other marine Shells, every particle of which was thickly incrusted with minute Christals.

Veins of Iron of considerable thickness were seen to traverse the Rocks in various directions, as well as immense beds of Felspar. The Granite is covered with a bed of Micaceous Schistose, in an advanced state of decomposition, over which are a number of Cavernous Apertures, in a bed of decomposed Pudding Stone, containing Nodules of Granite of various Colours. These Apertures were found to contain Rock Salt in large quantities, forming thick incrustations on every part of the surface, bieutifully Chrystalized and penetrating into the most compact parts of the Rocks; the most remote parts of these Caverns have a bieutiful appearance from the reflection of the Chrystals; their height above the Sea I would pronounce to be Fifty feet. Large Nodules of Sand Stone were found in the bottom of each strongly impregnated with Salt. The summit of the Cliff was formed of Limestone.

The Northern extreme of the Cape is formed of magnificent cliffs of Limestone, two Hundred feet in height, presenting two magnificent ranges of Caverns; two of the lower range are superb; the roofs and sides being covered with bieutiful Stalactytes of great magnitude and exceedingly brilliant; in one of them were found Stalagmites of extraordinary size, adhering to Nodules of Granite with which the base is covered. The outer or great Cavern is about Fifty feet wide and from forty five to fifty in height, its extreme length about one hundred feet.

The sides, roof and Stalactytes present an extraordinary assemblage of Colours, from the immense variety of Liverwort and minute Fungiae with which they are covered; some of the Stalactytes were observed to measure from Twelve to fifteen feet.

The Sea makes a breach into each of the lower range over blocks of Granite; the Scene is then truly grand. The upper range we could not inspect from the perpendicular nature of the Cliff, but from their exterior appearance there remains no doubt of their grandeur.

It is worthy of remark that the whole Coast of this Bay is a perfect source of Active Springs, discharging themselves on the Beach in rapid rills of considerable extent every Six or Seven Yards.

C. Fraser.


3. Application by Captain James Stirling for Command of the Proposed Settlement at Swan River.

[A copy of this letter to Earl Bathurst will be found on page 307, Volume XIII, series I:]

{The item following is also the enclosure of a despatch of Governor Darling to Under Secretary Hay of 15th May, 1827, found on p. 306, which despatch is here Appendix 3.—Ed.}


Captain Stirling to Earl Bathurst.

H.M.S. Success, Sydney, 15th May, 1827.

My Lord,

     The Mail, by which I have at present the honor to address for your Lordship, will convey, through the medium of His Excellency General Darling's Report, some important and interesting information relative to the Western Coast of New Holland.

The Part, which the performance of my duty induced me to take in the Exploration of those Shores, and the successful result of the investigation these effected, emboldens me to apply to your Lordship and to solicit, in the Event of an Establishment being formed on that Territory, the honor of its Superintendence and Government.

In making this application, I feel that I have but little Claim upon Your Lordship's notice. I possess, however, some knowledge of the Country, to which I allude; and I pledge myself, should your Lordship be pleased to consider that knowledge as a recommendation for the Employment, I solicit, to promote with zeal and Industry the Wishes and Views of His Majesty's Government.

My Lord, I have, &c.,
James Stirling, Captain, R.N.


4. Under Secretary Stanley to Captain Stirling.

Downing Street, 29 Novr., 1827.


     I am directed by Mr. Secretary Huskisson to acquaint you, in reply to your letter of the 15th of May last, that, as it is not the intention of His Majesty's Government to form an Establishment on Swan River, it is not in his power to comply with your wishes in the manner to which you allude.

I am, &c.,
E. G. Stanley.


5. Right Hon. W. Huskisson to Governor Darling.

[A copy of this despatch containg a decision against the formation of a settlement at Swan River, will be found on page 739, Volume XIII, series I. {Here following.}]


(Despatch No. 6, per ship Mermaid.)

Downing Street, 28th January, 1828.


     His Majesty's Government have given their fullest attention to the Report of Captain Stirling, transmitted in your Dispatch No. 56 of the 21st of April last, respecting Swan River situated in the North Western Coast of New Holland, to which place he had proceeded with the view of ascertaining whether this situation was as eligible for a Settlement as was supposed.

It is evident, from the result of Captain Stirling's examination, that many of the advantages required for a Settlement exist in the neighbourhood of that River; but, on the other hand, the great distance of this part of the Coast from Svdney and the uncertainty at all times of the Passage through Basses' Strait appears to render it extremely difficult to form and keep up an establishment there, as it cannot be viewed as a dependance upon the present Colony, but wholly in the light of a new one, almost as much separated from New South Wales as it would be from England, and consequently requiring, if formed, all the machinery of a distinct Government.

Under these circumstances, I am of opinion that it would be inexpedient, on the score of expense, to occupy this part of the Coast, and that it is unnecessary, with a view to any urgent Interest, to attempt any new Settlement at present in that quarter, especially as Captain Stirling's anticipation of a Commercial Intercourse with India, or as a place to which Europeans resident in India would be disposed to repair to recruit their health, etc., are not likely to be realized from the dangers, which surround the whole range of the Western Coast, not excepting even that part of it in question, and which would naturally induce Ships bound to India to avoid rather than to wish to approach it.

I shall not fail, however, to apprize the East India Company of the circumstances attending the discovery of Swan River, in case they should consider it advisable to make any Settlement there; but I am not aware of any sufficient motive to induce them to embark in an undertaking of this nature.

I have, &c.,
W. Huskisson.


6. Captain Stirling to Under Secretary Hay.

18 Baker Street, 30th July, 1828.


     I beg leave to lay before you the following observations relative to the Western Coast of New Holland, and the eligibility of a certain portion of it for the purposes of Settlement.

You will be pleased to recollect that the first discovery of the Region, comprehended between Shark's Bay and Cape Lewin, was effected by the Dutch.* The Report, which they gave of it, was in the highest degree unfavorable. They represented it as affording neither fresh Water, fertile Soil, nor Safe Anchorage.

[* Note 115.]

The French under the Command of Monsieur Baudin, at the beginning of this Century, visited that Shore, And rendered an account of it more circumstantial, but equally unfavorable as that of the Dutch. The Report, which I had the honor to make and by last year to his Majesty's Government, differs so widely from that of the preceding Dutch and French Navigators, that it will scarcely be believed that we undertake to describe the same country, for, while they report it as Sterile, forbidding and Inhospitable, I represent it as the Land which, of all that I have seen in various quarters of the World, possesses the greatest natural attractions.

Without entering upon the consideration of its prospective advantages or future Importance, I beg leave to state briefly That the Climate is equally healthy as that of the Cape and New South Wales; that it permits Europeans to labor throughout the day and in every Season of the Year; That, according to the Testimony of an experienced Person who accompanied me, the Soil is admirably calculated for every Species of Cultivation;

That the Territory is abundantly supplied with fresh Water;

And finally that, in the Neighbourhood of Swan River, there is Safe Anchorage, which may easily be converted into one of the finest Harbours in the World.

The above mentioned recommendations point it out as a spot so eligible for Settlement, that it cannot long remain unoccupied. It is not inferior in any natural essential quality to the Plain of Lombardy, and, as by its position it commands facilities for carrying on Trade with India and the Malay Archipelago, as well as with China, and as it is moreover favorably circumstanced for the Equipment of Cruizers for the annoyance of Trade in those Seas, Some foreign Power may see the Advantage of taking possession, should his Majesty's Government leave it unappropriated.

In the course of last year I had an opportunity of visiting the Settlements recently established at King George's Sound, Melville Island and Raffles Bay, And I cannot Consider any one of those places as in any way Calculated for the Reception of Convicts. As far as the Country had been explored in the Neighbourhood of King George's Sound, the Soil was such as to defy Cultivation, So that any Establishment there must be supported by Supplies from other Quarters; And, at the two latter Places, the Intense heat and the Unhealthiness of the Climate offer insuperable objections to the Employment of Convicts in Agricultural Labor. These inconveniences do not exist at Swan River, and I am not aware that there is any Part of New Holland better adapted for the Purpose of a Penal Settlement than the Country in its Vicinity.

With reference to the Plan I took the liberty of mentioning to you, as to the cheap and simple Mode of forming Settlements in that Country by the Employment of a Vessel of War there, and by placing every Individual Settler for a certain time under the control of Naval Discipline, I beg leave to state that many of the Inconveniences attending the Early Stage of all Settlements would thereby be obviated. By such a proceeding, Possession might be taken of the Country, Its locality might be explored, And all the necessary regulations enforced by the Authority of her Officers without the necessity of applying to Parliament for particular enactments. In this suggestion, I beg leave to disclaim any indirect view to my own Employment in such Service, and I have now to apologize for trespassing so long on your attention and I have, &c.,

James Stirling.


7. Captain Stirling and Major Moody to Under Secretary Hay.

23 Bolton Street, 21st Augt., 1828.


     For reasons, which we have had the honor personally to settlement of mention, we presume to address you on matters connected with the Colonization of the Western part of new Holland.

We are persuaded that the occupation of that territory by British Subjects would prove to be a measure highly beneficial to the Individuals concerned in it, and important to the interests and future welfare of His Majesty's Possessions in that part of the World. But, as the expence of maintaining Settlements in that Quarter may be thought a reason sufficient to prevent their formation by Government, we venture to ask whether, in such case, any objection would be made to the unsupported employment of Private Capital and Enterprise in the occupation and improvement of that territory; and whether we may be permitted to form an Association, with a view to obtain a proprietary Charter, upon principles * similar to those formerly adopted in the settlement of Pensylvania and Georgia.

[* Note 122.]

From our personal experience in matters connected with Colonies, and from the local knowledge which one of us possesses relative to the Country in question, we confidently anticipate, from such an enterprize, advantages of a public as well as of a private nature; and, on these joint grounds, we respectfully recommend our present application to the notice of His Majesty's Secretary of State for War and Colonies.

We have, &c.,
James Stirling, Captn., R.N.
Thomas Moody, Bt. Maj., Roy. Engineers.


8. Commander Gardiner * to Sir George Murray.

[* Note 123.]

7 Lower Crescent, Clifton, 31st Octr., 1828.


     As it is understood that His Majesty's Government have determined upon forming a Settlement at Swan River on the Western side of New Holland, the surrounding teretory to which is as yet unknown, I beg leave to offer my services to explore either the coast or any part of the interior, which may be thought beneficial to the interests of the new Settlement.

In the course of my profession, I have twice visited the Colony of New South Wales, in which I have made some long excursions into the interior, and feel no hesitation in offering myself to explore any part of that country, which, if thought advisable, I will endeavour to traverse from East to West, exploring the intermediate tract between Port Jackson and the proposed Settlement. My only request will be that the time so occupied may be regarded by the Admiralty as sea service; with such an assurance I am ready to embark at any time and by any route which His Majesty's Government may direct.

I remain, &c.,
Allen F. Gardiner,
Commander, R.N.


Sir George Murray to Admiralty Commissioners.

5th November, 1828.

[A copy of this letter is not available.]


9. Mr. J. Barrow to Under Secretary Twiss.

Admiralty Office, 7th November, 1828.


     In reference to Secretary Sir George Murray's Letter of the 5th Instant signifying to my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty His Majesty's Pleasure that immediate Orders be given to the Officer commanding His Majesty's Naval Forces at the Cape of Good Hope to dispatch one of the Ships of War under his Command, without the smallest loss of time, to the Western Coast of New Holland, with directions to take formal possession of the Western side of New Holland in His Majesty's Name; I am commanded by their Lordships to acquaint you, for the information of Sir George Murray, that the Senior Officer at the Cape has been directed to send His Majesty's Ship Tweed to execute this Service.

I am, &c.,
John Barrow.


Under Secretary Twiss to Mr. J. Barrow.

12th November, 1828.

[A copy of this letter is not available.]


10. Mr. J. Barrow To Under Secretary Twiss.

Admiralty Office, 13 Nov., 1828.


     With reference to your letter of yesterday's date, I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you for the information of Secretary Sir George Murray, that they have ordered the "Sulphur," Bomb Vessel at Chatham, to be brought forward with all dispatch for the Service of conveying Settlers to the Western Coast of New Holland.

I am, &c.,
John Barrow.


11. Memorial from Mr. Thomas Peel,* Sir Francis Vincent and Others.

[* Note 124.]

To the Right Honourable Sir George Murray, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for The Colonies.

14th November, 1828.

The undersigned respectfully beg leave to call the Attention of the Colonial Secretary to a Proposition, which has for its Object the Furtherance of the splendid Design of His Majesty's Government in colonizing that Part of Australia called Swan River, being in Latitude 34° S., Longitude 11° E., lately visited by Captain Stirling in His Majesty's Ship the Rainbow.

The Capabilities of this most important Possession to the British Interest are too numerous for the undersigned here to set forth, more especially as it is presumed the Vigilance of His Majesty's Government has put them in full Possession of the many great and peculiar Advantages this Part of that extensive Territory possesses, being in the Centre of the Eastern Trade, and forming a suitable Depôt for Vessels navigating those Seas.

The undersigned beg leave to observe, that, in colonizing, there are more Difficulties to encounter than an abstract Description can set forth.

They trust their Proposals will be looked at as coming from British Subjects who are willing to render their Fortunes and Lives in furthering His Majesty's Views in making the Swan River a Colony, where the willing industry of His Majesty's Subjects may find that Honesty and Obedience will secure the fostering Arm of Government to every Class of His Majesty's People.

The undersigned propose to provide Shipping for the Purposes of taking out 10,000 of His Majesty's Subjects from England, Ireland and Scotland, to the Settlement at Swan River, and to find them in Provisions and every other Necessary usually allowed to Emigrants.

That they will bring to the Settlement 1,000 Head of Bulls, Cows, Bullocks, and Calves for the Purpose of further Improvement, and have Three small Vessels running from Sydney to the Settlement, as Occasion may require.

They respectfully beg leave to call the attention of His Majesty's Government to the present proposal, which they flatter themselves will stand unequalled, as they will have to take Ships to a Place where there is no Back Freight or Prospect of a Cargo.

It necessarily follows that the Expence of the Conveyance of Families from England to Swan River will be much higher than it is to Hobart Town or Sydney. These Considerations bring the undersigned to make a nominal Estimation that each Person will cost them £30.

They promise to complete within the Period of Four Years the taking over of the 10,000 Men, Women, and Children from England, Ireland and Scotland.

They do not ask His Majesty's Government either to give or make a Loan for the Purpose of completing their Undertaking; but, as a Payment for the Outlay, they are willing to take Grants of Land there, at a Valuation of 1s. 6d. per Acre, to the full Quantity, as a Payment in the Value for their Trouble, estimating, as before stated, 10,000 Souls at £30 per Head, to be received by a free Grant, as before stated.

They respectfully submit that, should His Majesty's Government be pleased to approve of this Arrangement, the undersigned shall, at their own Expence, provide proper Surveyors for the Purpose of locating to every Male not less than 200 Acres of Land from the Quantity they will have to receive, and that the respective Governors of the Settlements will sign the Grant as a Gift from the Crown.

The Wish of the undersigned in this Stage of the Arrangement is that they may have a Right to hold out the Promise of a Grant, by the Government Authority, to such Persons as they may select for the Purpose of emigrating to the Settlement.

It may not be unnecessary for the undersigned to give a partial Statement of their Objects in wishing to have large Tracts of Land.

It is well known that the Soil of Swan River, from its moist State, is better adapted to the Cultivation of Tobacco and Cotton than any other Part of Australia.

Both of these Articles are intended to be cultivated upon a large Scale, as also Sugar and Flax, with various important Articles of Drugs that the Climate is peculiarly adapted to the Growth of.

The undersigned are satisfied that, should they succeed in sending Home to the Mother Country that Produce which at the Moment the Government are indebted to Powers which would be their Policy to suppress, were they in a Condition so to do, they will have forwarded not alone the views of His Majesty's Government, but effected a national Good, which neither Time nor Circumstances can erase from the Annals of British History.

Their grazing Operations will go very extensively into the rearing of Horses for the East. India Trade, with the most important Establishment of large Herds of Cattle and Swine for the Purpose of supplying His Majesty's or other shipping with Salt Provisions, as the Proximity of Salt Mines of the best Description holds out a great Inducement towards its Success.

There may be various Matters on which His Majesty's Government may desire further Explanation; but it is the earnest Hope that the Proposal now made may receive that favourable Construction, which the undersigned trust the Fairness thereof entitles it.

Thos. Peel.
Francis Vincent.
Edward W. H. Schenley.
T. Potter MacQueen.


Sir George Murray to Lord Hill.

29th November, 1828.

[A copy of this despatch is not available.]


12. Mr. Thomas Peel to Under Secretary Twiss.

8 St. James's Square, 30th Nov., 1828.

Mr. Thos. Peel presents his Compliments to Mr. Twiss, and begs leave to inform him that, in consequence of his Assurance that the Proposal sent in to Sir George Murray by Messrs. Vincent, Macqueen, Peel, and Schenley was accepted, they have purchased the "Lady Nugent" of from 700 to 800 Tons, and are preparing with every possible Speed to embark for the Swan River with Four hundred Souls (400), Horses and Cattle as many as may be accommodated, Agricultural Implements of every description for the Use of each Settler, etc., etc., along with (if it can be got ready) a Steam Engine for the purposes of sawing Wood, grinding Corn, etc., etc.

Provisions for One Year, accompanied with every other Requisite for the Comfort and Advantage of their Settlers.

They purpose employing their Vessel afterwards in bringing over to the Colony as many of the 10,000 Individuals, as she can accomplish within a given Time, and giving her the Assistance of other Vessels in forwarding their Project, at such Times and to what Extent it may be deemed most prudent to forward them within the Four Years.

The Commander of the Ship is bound to be at Spithead on the 1st of February, 1829, with the People and Cargo, provided it be possible.


13. Mr. Thomas Peel to Under Secretary Twiss.

8 St. James's-square,
Tuesday, 2d December, 1828.

Dear Sir,

     Last night I had the pleasure of making Captain Stirling acquainted with my friends, Sir Francis Vincent and Colonel Macqueen; but I regret to find that, in the course of their conversation, matters of doubt have arisen which place me in a very responsible situation touching our mutual affairs in the projected new Settlement.

Although no written acceptance of our proposal has hitherto been furnished by the Government, you are aware that a fortnight ago, when I took the liberty of making a request to this effect, you asked me, "What it was I wanted; every thing we asked would be granted, and what more did I wish." Hereupon I took the liberty of observing that it was not for my own private satisfaction, but especially for those most closely connected with me that I pressed for a written document. Thereupon you will recollect stating, "That such written assurance should be furnished me in due course; but that the Government should demand security from us to prevent a return to England of our emigrants."

About eleven days after this interview, you were good enough to put into my hands a document, purporting to be the proposed disposing of land to settlers in the new colony for my perusal, which conditions have since been altered in toto.

Now, as I understand that this very document has caused the alarm through Captain Stirling to my constituents, I beg leave explicitly to say that in my view of the understanding betwixt you and myself, we have nothing earthly to do with it, that being a subsequent arrangement and a condition for the Public.

It surely is asking nothing unfair when we solicit superior advantages to the Public, as a boon, for the very arduous and first attempt at colonization.

If we are to pave the way, and ensure the future comfort for those following us, there can be no unjustness in our seeking some indulgence beyond others who will have little or no difficulty to contend with. In fact, as I last night assured the gentlemen connected with me, I have ever had implicit confidence in your word; and, notwithstanding the difficulties now presented, I shall continue to look towards you with the same feeling, and I am satisfied that in so acting I am neither doing an injustice to my constituents, or giving you credit for a single feeling beyond your desert.

At the same time I must be permitted to observe that I have already, through the above assurances, led my constituents into a train of expenses above £20,000, from which we cannot now recede. I shall therefore now simply further solicit your early arrangement and adjustment of our claims, as, under the existing circumstances, it doubtless will appear to you imperious.

Yours, &c.,
Thomas Peel.


14. Lord Hill to Sir George Murray.

Horse Guards, 3d December, 1828.


     I have had the honor to receive your Letter of the 29th Ultimo requiring a Detachment of 60 Rank and File with a proper proportion of Officers and Non Commissioned Officers to be held in readiness for Embarkation to the Western Coast of New Holland, where His Majesty's Government judge it advisable to establish a British Settlement; and, in acquainting you that I have ordered that this Detachment should be selected from the 63d Regt. and that as many of the married Men as possible shall compose it, attention being paid to the good Conduct of the Women, I have to observe that, as it will be necessary that I should write to Lt. General Darling upon the subject, and that the Officer Commanding the Detachment in question should have some Instructions for his guidance both as to the nature of the duties he may have to perform, under whose orders he is to consider himself, and to whom he should Report, I should be favoured with an outline of the orders to be given to the Individual who will have the charge of establishing the Settlement, As also a Copy of the directions to Lt. General Darling.

I am also anxious to know whether His Majesty's Government would approve of a Medical Officer being added to the Detachment with a Supply of Medicines, Medical Comforts and Stores as also whether the Detachment should not be provided with a small proportion of Camp Equipage, etc.

I have, &c.,

P.S.—It will also be necessary that the Treasury should authorize the issue of Rations to the Women and Children, who will accompany this Detachment.


15. Under Secretary Hay to Mr. T. Peel, Sir F. Vincent, Mr. T. P. Macqueen and Mr. E. W. H. Schenley.

Downing Street, 6th December, 1828.


     I am directed by Secretary Sir George Murray to acquaint you, in answer to your Memorial dated the Fourteenth of last Month, that the Terms upon which the free Grants of Land will be made in the proposed Settlement in Western Australia are those contained in the Paper, a Copy of which I enclose. His Majesty's Government, however, are desirous that the Experiment should not be made in the first Instance upon a very large Scale, on account of the extensive Distress which would be occasioned by a Failure in any of the Objects expected from the Undertaking, and they therefore consider it their Duty to limit the Grant, which you request, to a Maximum of One Million of Acres. Half a Million of these will be allotted to you as soon as possible after the Arrival of the first Vessel taken out by you, which may contain not less than 400 Persons of both Sexes, in the Proportions of not less than Five Female to Six Male Settlers; and if you shall have covered this Grant by Investments, in accordance with the enclosed Terms, before the Expiration of the Year 1840, the remaining Half Million will be allotted to you by Degrees, as fresh Importations of Settlers and Capital shall be made, in accordance to the Terms already mentioned. But, in order that you may suffer no ultimate Loss by any reasonable Retardation of your Investments, His Majesty's Government intend that the Allowance of Forty Acres for every £3 invested shall not be reduced on your Second Half Million of Acres, although your Claim to such Second Half Million may not arise before the Expiration of next Year, which is the Period limited to other Settlers applying for free Grants; but they will reserve your Claim at the original Rate of 1s. 6d. per Acre until the Expiration of the Year 1840, after which Time no Part of your Grant will be held binding, upon which the whole required Sum of 1s. 6d. per every Acre shall not have been actually invested. A convenient Allotment of Land will be reserved for the Town and Harbour, for Public Buildings, and for the Accommodation of future Settlers; and a Priority of Choice to the Extent of 100,000 Acres will be allowed to Captain Stirling, whose Surveys and Reports of the Coast have led to the Formation of the Settlement. The remaining Land will be chosen by the Settlers in the Order of their Arrival, those who arrive together drawing Lots for the Priority of Choice.

I have, &c.,
R. W. Hay.


15.1 [Enclosure.]

Conditions for Land Grants at Swan River.

Colonial Office, 5th December, 1828.

Although it is the Intention of His Majesty's Government to form a Settlement on the Western Coast of Australia, the Government do not intend to incur any Expence in conveying Settlers or in supplying them with Necessaries after their Arrival.

Such Persons, however, as may be prepared to proceed to that Country at their own Cost before the End of the Year 1829, in Parties comprehending a Proportion of not less than Five Female to Six Male Settlers, will receive Grants of Land in Fee Simple (free of Quit Rent), proportioned to the Capital which they may invest upon public or private Objects in the Colony, to the Satisfaction of His Majesty's Government at Home, certified by the Superintendent or other Officer administering the Colonial Government, at the Rate of Forty Acres for every Sum of £3 so invested, provided they give previous Security; first, that all Supplies sent to the Colony, whether of Provisions, Stores or other Articles, which may be purchased by the Capitalists there, or which shall have been sent out for the Use of them or their Parties on the Requisition of the Secretary of State, if not paid for on Delivery in the Colony, shall be paid for at Home, each Capitalist being to be held liable in his Proportion; and, secondly, that, on the Event of the Establishment being broken up by the Governor or Superintendent, all Persons desirous of returning to the British Islands shall be conveyed to their own Home at the Expence of the Capitalist by whom they may have been taken out. The Passages of labouring Persons, whether paid for by themselves or others, and whether they be Male or Female, provided the Proportion of the Sexes before mentioned be preserved, will be considered as an Investment of Capital entitling the Party by whom any such Payment may have been made to an Allowance of Land at the Rate of £15, that is, of 200 Acres of Land for the Passage of every such labouring Person over and above any other Investment of Capital.

Any Land thus granted, which shall not have been brought into Cultivation, or otherwise improved or reclaimed from its wild State, to the Satisfaction of Government, within Twenty-one Years from the Date of the Grant, shall, at the End of the Twenty-one Years, revert absolutely to the Crown.

All these Conditions with respect to free Grants of Land, and all Contracts of labouring Persons and others, who shall have bound themselves for a stipulated Term of Service, will be strictly maintained.

It is not intended that any Convicts or other Description of Prisoners be sent to this new Settlement.

The Government will be administered by Captain Stirling of the Royal Navy, as Civil Superintendent of the Settlement, and a Bill * in the Nature of a Civil Charter will be submitted to Parliament in the Commencement of its next Session.

[* Note 125.]


16. Mr. J. Stewart to Under Secretary Hay.

Treasury Chambers, 11th December, 1828.


     The Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury having had under their consideration a letter from Secretary Sir George Murray requesting that the Sum of Six Hundred Pounds may be issued to Captain Sterling, who has been appointed Civil Superintendent over the New Settlement at Swan River, to enable him to defray the expences of his Passage and other Charges incident to that Office, I have it in command to acquaint you, for the information of Sir George Murray, that My Lords have directed Mr. Sargent to pay the said Sum to Captain Sterling as recommended.

I am, &c.,
J. Stewart.


17. Mr. L. Beauvais to Under Secretary Twiss.

80 Great Portland St., 17 Decr., 1828.


     Referring to my letter of the 19th July containing a proposal to produce the Extract of Mimosa Bark in large quantities for export from Van Diemen's Land, and requesting to be informed whether Government would give encouragement to such an undertaking, I have the honor now to request that you will submit to the Right Honble. Sir George Murray that I may be permitted, instead of proceeding to Van Diemen's Land, to avail myself of the advantages held out to Emigrants proceeding to Swan River.

I do not expect to obtain on my first establishment there any larger Grant than that to which my capital would otherwise entitle me, but I trust that, in addition thereto, I shall not be thought unreasonable in anticipating a favorable answer to the following proposal, vizt., That, after I shall have established myself at the New Settlement, and shall have exported Extract prepared upon my improved principle to the extent of two hundred Tons, I may receive a free Grant of twenty thousand Acres upon the same terms as those Settlers proceeding at the present time, although I may not be able to complete the quantity stipulated previous to the year 1830.

I have, &c.,
L. Beauvais.


18. Sir F. Vincent and Messrs. Peel and Schenley to Under Secretary Hay.

8 St. James's Square, 18th Dec., 1828.


     We have the honour to acknowledge your letter of the 6th instant respecting the terms upon which our proposal to settle at the Swan River would be accepted, and to advert to an omission which we take the liberty of pointing out as early as possible, viz., as to our priority of choice in the selection of our lands before all other settlers whatsoever, after the reserve of 100,000 acres has been made to Captain Stirling. This point we distinctly understood to have been granted by Mr. Twiss, and we trust our present application for the confirmation thereof will not be deemed either unmerited or uncalled for.

We have, &c.,


18.1 The following Memorandum was made by Mr. Hay, with reference to the Subject of the above Letter:—

23d December, 1828.

Sir F. Vincent, Mr. Thos. Peel and Mr. Schenley were requested by Mr. Hay to see Captain Stirling, and to arrange with him as to the Lands to be assigned to both Parties.

It was proposed that Captain Stirling should at once be requested to point out on the Map * the particular Quarter in which he wished his 100,000 Acres should be selected, and that it should then be competent to the associated Gentlemen to point out in the same way the Spot where Land to the Extent of 250,000 Acres should be reserved for them. A Copy of the Map on which the Choice should be made to be given to each of the Parties, and Captain Stirling, if his Arrival should precede that of the associated Gentlemen, to take immediate Steps for delivering over to their Surveyor, who will probably accompany Captain Stirling to Swan River, the Block of Land which has been selected by them.

[* Note 126.]

Map 3. Chart of Swan and Canning Rivers on the Western Coast of Australia [showing land grants to Stirling and Peel].

[Source: SROWA Map Series 234, Item 411.]

[Click on the map to enlarge it.]

In other respects the associated Gentlemen will be placed on the Footing of other Settlers.

The Choice of the Land so selected to be communicated to Sir George Murray for his Approval.


19. Mr. J. Lachlan to Captain Stirling.

Great Aile Street, 23 december, 1828.


     I beg leave to offer to you the Ship Parmelia 443 Tons to convey such Passengers, Stock, Stores, and Goods as you may think proper to embark in her from hence to Swan River on the West Coast of New Holland at £4 10s. 0d. per Ton Register, the owners to provide Water Casks for the Passengers not exceeding Eighty in number.

The Vessel to be in the Downs complete on the owner's part on the 4th January next, and to proceed thence to Portsmouth to embark the Passengers, and to call at the Cape of Good Hope and remain there 14 days if required. Thirty days, if required, to be allowed for landing the Cargo, etc., at Swan River (which is to be done with the Ship's Boats), after that Demurrage at the same Rate as that paid by the Navy Board.

The Freight to be paid, one third on the Vessel's sailing from England and the remainder on producing Certificates of the Completion of the Service.

I am, &c.,
J. Lachlan.


Under Secretary Twiss to Lord Fitzroy Somerset.

23rd December, 1828.

[A copy of this letter is not available.]


20. Lord Fitzroy Somerset to Under Secretary Twiss.

Horse Guards, 24 December, 1828.


     Having submitted to The General Commanding in Chief your Letter of the 23d Inst., I am directed to acquaint you that immediate orders have been given to limit the Detachment of the 63d Regt. to One Hundred, and that accordingly it will consist of

One Captain; One Lieutenant; Two Ensigns; One Assistant Surgeon; Three Serjeants; Three Corporals; One Bugler; Fifty Six Privates; and Thirty two Women and Children.

As soon as you shall notify to me the day on which it is desired that the Troops shall embark, the necessary orders will be given.

The Names of the Officers are

Captain F. C. Irwin, Comg.; Lieut. William Pedder; Ensign Officers Donald Hume Macleod; Ensign Robert Dale;

they have no Families requiring Accommodation; but the Medical Officer attached to the Detachment, Assistant Surgeon Tully Davy, has a Family consisting of five Ladies, for whom Passages should be found.

I have, &c.,
Fitzroy Somerset.

P.S.—By Information obtained from The Navy Office, it is understood that two or three Vessels are fitting out in the River for the New Settlement, in one or other of which Assistant Surgeon Daly and his Family might be allowed to take their Passage.



Under Secretary Hay to Navy Commissioners.

24th December, 1828.

[A copy of this letter is not available.]


21. Captain Stirling to Under Secretary Hay.

London, 26th December, 1828.


    In obedience to your Memorandum of the 23d Instant, I have conferred with the Gentlemen therein named on the Subject of a Grant of Land, which Sir George Murray has been graciously pleased to award me, and I do myself the Honour to state to you that I shall be happy to receive the Allotment * of Land herein-after described, if such Selection shall meet with your Approbation; videlicet,

[* Note 126.]

Isle Buache, together with such Live Stock as may be found on it, the Produce of that which I left there in 1827. The Remainder of the Hundred thousand Acres, not contained in that Island, to be those which are situated nearest to Cape Naturalist in Geographe Bay; but, as the latter Portion must remain for a considerable Time unprotected, I submit respectfully that I may not be required to stock it, nor to pay to Government the Duty of Sixpence per Acre, until after a protecting Force be stationed in that Neighbourhood.

I have, &c.,
James Stirling.


22. Captain Stirling to Under Secretary Hay.

Cannon Row, Sunday, 28th Dec.

Dear Sir,

     May I take the liberty to acquaint you before I leave town that, on the first day of the coming year, a new Regulation under authority of Parliament will take place, by which officers holding any Civil appointment will be deprived of their Half Pay unless they may have accepted such appointments previous to 31 December, 1828. Capt. Currie, Mr. Morgan * and myself will therefore forfeit our half pay unless our appointments take place before the last of this month, although they may or may not be attended by any emolument. Such being the case, I submit for your consideration the eligibility of our respective appointments being given and accepted before the expiration of the year.

[* Note 127.]

I beg to repeat my earnest request that you will reconsider the point of placing the new Settlement in the Situation of a Dependency on New South Wales. According as the New South Wales Charter ** stands, I do not believe that it can be acted on for the trial of cases occurring beyond the limits of that Territory. No authority therefore can be given to me derivatively from it, and, a new Charter being therefore necessary, the following objections appear to me as opposed to their being incorporated under one Government.

[** Note 128.]

1st. Their dissimilarity in population and commercial position.

2ndly. Their great distance from each other, which renders communication slow and uncertain, and puts mutual assistance and protection out of the question.

3rdly. The favorable anticipations which have been entertained of the new Settlement, because of its being independent of and unconnected with New So. Wales.

4thly. Because it would be necessary at such a remote distance to give to the local Government authority founded on a belief of its being independant and responsible only to His Majesty's Minister for the Colonies.

I hope you will pardon my presumption in addressing you on the preceding subject; but I feel it is important; and I beg further to suggest, if it is not finally decided that I am to be styled "Civil Superintendent," that my influence would be much increased in the opinion of those around me by altering that Style and naming me "Governor." There is a precedent in the case of Capt. Philip, who formed the Settlement on the other shore; and I should be much gratified by the alteration independent of the persuasion I entertain that my hands would be thereby strengthened.

I have, &c.,
James Stirling.


23. Navy Commissioners To Under Secretary Hay.

Navy Office, 29th December, 1828.


     In addition to our Letter of the 27th instant, we acquaint you, for the Information of Secretary Sir George Murray, that we have engaged the Ship Parmelia, of 443 Tons, to convey Passengers and Stores to Swan River on the Western Side of New Holland; and we request to be furnished, as soon as possible, with the Names of the Persons composing the Families of the Civil Officers, etc., intended to proceed to the new Settlement, who are alluded to in your Letters of the 24th and 25th instant, and the ages of the Children, in order that the necessary accommodation may be prepared for them.

We are, &c.,
RT. Seppings.
H. Legge.
C. Boyle.


24. Sir George Murray to Captain Stirling.

(Despatch No. 1.)

Downing Street, 30 Decr., 1828.


     It having been resolved by His Majesty's Govt. to occupy the Port on the Western Coast of New Holland at the mouth of the River called "Swan River" with the adjacent Territory for the purpose of forming a Settlement there, His Majesty has been pleased to approve the selection of yourself to have the command of the Expedition appointed for that Service and the superintendance of the proposed Settlement.

You will accordingly repair with all practicable despatch to the place of your destination on board the Vessel, which has been provided for that purpose.

As Swan River and the adjacent Territory are not within the limits * of any existing Colony, difficulties may easily be anticipated in the course of your proceedings from the absence of all Civil Institutions, Legislative, Judicial and financial.

[* Note 129.]

Until provision can be made in due form of law for the government of the projected Colony, the difficulties, to which I refer, must be combated and will, I trust, be overcome by your own firmness and discretion.

You will assume the Title of Lieut. Governor, and in that character will correspond with this Department respecting your proceedings and the wants and prospects of the Settlement you are to form.

Amongst your earliest duties will be that of determining the of Government.

You will be called upon to weigh maturely the advantages, which may arise from placing it on so secure a situation as may be afforded on various points of the Swan River, against those which may follow from establishing it on so fine a port for the reception of Shipping, as Cockburn Sound is represented to be; and more effectually to guard against the evils to be apprehended from an improvident disposal of the land in the immediate vicinity of the Town, you will take care that a square of three Miles (or 1,920 acres) is reserved for its future extension; and that the land within this space is not granted away (as in ordinary cases) but shall be held upon leases from the Crown for a term not exceeding 21 years. You will from the commencement of the undertaking be observant of the necessity of marking out and reserving for public purposes all those peculiar positions Reserves for within or in the vicinity of the projected Town, which from natural advantages or otherwise will probably be essential to the future self are of the Settlement. In laying the foundations of any such Town, care must be taken to proceed upon a regular plan, leaving all vacant spaces, which will in future times be required for thoroughfares and as the Sites of Churches, Cemeteries and other Public Works of utility and general convenience.

You will cause it to be understood that His Majesty has granted to you the power of making all necessary locations of land. For your guidance in this respect, ample instructions will at a future period be prepared. In the meantime, I enclose a copy of the Instructions of the Governor of New South Wales on this subject to which you will adhere as closely as circumstances will admit.

You will bear in mind that, in all locations of Territory, a due proportion must be reserved for the Crown, as well as for the maintenance of the Clergy, support of Establishments for the purposes of Religion and the Education of youth, concerning which objects, more particulars will be transmitted to you hereafter.

I think it necessary also to caution you thus early, as land on the Sea or River side will naturally be the first to be located, that you must be careful not to grant more than a due proportion of Sea or River Frontage to any Settler. The great advantage to be derived from an easy water communication will of course not escape your consideration, and this advantage should be divided amongst as many settlers as can conveniently benefit by their position in the vicinity.

In regard to the surveys and explications of the Country which you, may think it right to set on foot, it is perhaps premature to give you any instructions upon a point, where so much must be left to your own discretion and the intelligence as to the nature of the soil and of the Country which you may obtain on the spot; looking however to the future prospects of the Settlement and to the advantages of its local position, I should be inclined to think that it will be expedient to make the Country South of Swan River the scene of your labors rather than the tract of Country North of that Stream, and that you will do Instructions well to invite the Settlers to locate themselves according to this suggestion.

You will endeavour to settle with the consent of the parties concerned a Court of Arbitration for the decision of such questions of Civil right as may arise between the early Settlers and until a more regular form of administering Justice can be organized.

You will recommend by your Counsels and example the habitual observance of Sunday as a day of rest and Public Worship, as far as may be compatible with the circumstances in which you may be placed.

With these few and general instructions for your guidance, assisted by the oral and written communications which have taken place between yourself and this Department, you will I trust be able to surmount the difficulties to which you may be exposed at the outset, enhanced though they will be by the want of any regular Commission for administering the Government.

An instrument of that nature accompanied with all the requisite instructions will be transmitted to you as soon as the indispensible forms of proceeding in such cases will allow.

I am, &c.,
Geo. Murray.


24.1 [Enclosure.]

[This comprised the clauses in the royal instructions to Governor Darling, respecting the division of the territory, grants of lands and clergy reserves, excepting those parts which related to convicts and the formation of the church corporation; see page 113 et seq., volume XII, series I. {Excerpt following.}]


[* Note 34.]

George R.

Instructions for Our Trusty and Well beloved Ralph Darling, Esquire, Lieutenant General of Our Forces, Our Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over Our Territory of New South Wales. . . .


. . . . You are to take care that, in all Laws or Ordinances to be passed by Our said Legislative Council in any case for levying Money or imposing fines and penalties, express mention be made that the same are granted or reserved to Us, Our Heirs and Successors, for the public uses of the said Territory and the support of the Government thereof, as by the said Act or order shall be directed.

And Whereas We have, in and by the said Commission, authorized and empowered you, with the advice and consent of Our said Executive Council, to issue a Proclamation dividing Our said Territory of New South Wales and its Dependencies into Districts, Counties, Hundreds, Towns, Townships and Parishes, and appointing the limits thereof respectively, and to agree for such Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments, as shall be in Our power to dispose of, and them to grant to any person and persons, upon such terms and under such moderate quit rents, recoveries and acknowledgments, to be thereupon reserved to Us according to such Instructions as shall be given to you under Our Sign Manual. Now we do hereby authorize and require you, as soon as conveniently may be after your arrival within Our said. Territory of New South Wales, to issue in Our Name to three discreet and Skilful persons, therein resident, a Commission, under the Seal of the said Territory, authorizing and commanding them to make a Survey, in manner hereinafter mentioned, of all the Lands and a valuation of all the Waste and ungranted Lands within Our said Territory. And it is Our Pleasure that the Surveyor General for the time being of Our said Colony shall be the first or Chief Commissioner to be named and appointed in and by the said Commission.

And it is Our pleasure that, together with such Commission, you do issue to the Commissioners thereby appointed, Instructions requiring them to divide and apportion the whole of the said Territory into Counties, each of which shall contain as nearly as may be Forty Miles Square; and to apportion each County into Hundreds, of which each Hundred shall as nearly as may be comprize an area of one hundred Square Miles; and again to subdivide each Hundred into Parishes, of which each Parish shall as nearly as may be comprize an Area of Twenty five Square Miles; and you are to instruct the said Commissioners that, in making the division aforesaid of Our said Territory into Counties, Hundreds and Parishes, they do have regard to all such natural divisions thereof, as may be formed by Rivers, Streams, Highlands or otherwise; and that, whenever in order to obtain a clear and well defined natural boundary of any County, Hundred, or Parish, it shall be necessary to include therein a greater or smaller quantity of Land than is hereinbefore mentioned, they the said Commissioners shall make such deviations from the prescribed dimensions of such County, Hundred or Parish, as may be necessary for obtaining such natural boundary, provided that no such County, Hundred or Parish shall in any case exceed or fall short of the dimensions before prescribed to the extent of more than one third part of such dimensions.

And it is Our Pleasure that that part of Our said Territory of New South Wales, which hath hitherto been divided into Counties, shall be comprized in such New Survey, as aforesaid; Provided nevertheless that, in case it should appear to you, with the advice of Our said Executive Council, that such new division as aforesaid of such last mentioned part of Our said Territory into Counties, Hundreds and Parishes is for any cause impracticable or inexpedient, you shall suspend the execution of these Our Instructions in reference to that portion of Our said Territory, until you shall have communicated unto us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, the nature of such obstacle, and shall have received Our further directions in relation thereto.

You are further to require the said Commissioners from time to time to make to you Reports, setting forth the progress, which they have made in the before mentioned Survey of Our said Territory, specifying therein the limits of each County, Hundred and Parish, which they have surveyed and apportioned; and you are to require such Commissioners to annex to such their written Reports Charts or Maps of every such County, Hundred and Parish.

And, in case the said Commissioners should not unanimously concur in making to you their report respecting the division of the said Territory, you are to require the said Commissioners respectively to communicate to you the grounds and reasons of the different opinions, which they may so entertain respecting any such question as aforesaid; and, if upon a consideration of such reasons, it should appear to you, with the advice of your said Executive Council, that the opinion of the Majority of the said Commissioners is erroneous, you shall, by an Order to be made in Council, require the said Commissioners to review such their Report; and, if the Majority of such Commissioners should after such review of such their Report adhere to their original judgment, so that you acting with the advice of the said Executive Council should ultimately differ in opinion from the said Commissioners, you shall suspend the ultimate decision upon any such question, until you shall have transmitted to Us, through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, a full statement and explanation of the question in discussion, and until you shall have received Our further Instructions for your guidance therein.

And it is Our Pleasure that, when any such Report of the said Commissioners as aforesaid shall be finally approved by you with the advice of your said Council, or by Us, as the case may be, the same shall be deposited among the records of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and that an exact Transcript thereof shall be deposited in the Office of the Surveyor General of Our said Territory, and that another Transcript thereof shall be transmitted to Us through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State.

And, for the better guidance of the said Commissioners in the execution of the duty so to be committed to them, you will, with the advice of the said Executive Council, issue to them such Instructions, as may from time to time become necessary; and you shall, by a new commission or Commissions to be for that purpose issued in manner aforesaid, supply all such vacancies in the said Commission, as may from time to time arise by the death, resignation, absence or removal of any such Commissioner.

And it is Our Will and Pleasure, and We do hereby specially authorize and empower you in Our Name from time to time to issue, under the public Seal of Our said Territory, Letters Patent for erecting into Counties, Hundreds and Parishes, such Districts, as may, in manner aforesaid, be selected for that purpose by the said Commissioners in and by any Reports, so to be made by them and approved by you or by Us, as aforesaid, as the case may he; and all such Letters Patent, so to be issued by you in Our Name, shall be enrolled among the Records of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and shall be on record; and the issuing of any such Letters Patent shall by you be made known, to all Our loving Subjects within Our said Territory, by Proclamations to be by you from time to time published for that purpose in the most usual and public manner.

And We do further authorize and require you, in and by any such Letters Patent as aforesaid in Our Name and on Our behalf to grant to Our loving subjects, resident within any such County, Hundred or Parish, all such franchises, immunities, rights and privileges whatsoever, as consistently with the circumstances, situation, Laws and usages of Our Colony of New South Wales, may be properly granted to such Our loving Subjects in that behalf; Provided that such franchises, immunities, rights and privileges shall, as far as the circumstances of the said Colony may admit, be such as on and of right may be claimed, held, enjoyed and exercised by Our Subjects, Inhabiting and residing in any County, Hundred or Parish in that part of Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, called England, and not otherwise.

And it is Our Will, and We do further require that such division as aforesaid of Our said Territory into Counties, Hundreds and Parishes shall not for the present be extended into such Districts of Our said Territory, as lie beyond the range of any actual Settlements; but that such divisions, as aforesaid, shall from time to time be extended into the parts thereof, which are at present unsettled, as the cultivation of Our said Territory may progressively advance, so that in all future times all persons, intending to settle in Our said Territory, may know in what County, Hundred and Parish any particular Lands are included.

And it is Our Pleasure, and We do hereby direct that the Commissioners, so to be appointed as aforesaid for the division of Our said Territory into Counties, Hundreds and Parishes, shall also be required and authorized to make a valuation of all the waste and unoccupied Lands, comprized in every such County, Hundred and Parish; and for that purpose it is Our Pleasure that the said Commissioners shall ascertain the average value of the Lands in each Parish separately, taking into their consideration the fertility and all other natural, accidental or local advantages or disadvantages of the Land in each Parish, as a basis for calculating the value thereof; and in making such their valuation, it is Our Pleasure that the said Commissioners shall enquire what sum of Money might reasonably be expected to be paid for any such Lands, if sold for a price to be paid in ready money at the time of the Conveyance in tracts containing three Square Miles, or one thousand, nine hundred and twenty acres, each to be held in free and common socage in fee simple without the payment of any quit Rent or duty for or in respect of the same.

And it is Our Pleasure that the said Commissioners shall make to you Reports of the progress of such their valuation in the same manner and subject to the same Rules and conditions, as is hereinbefore provided in respect to the Reports so directed, as aforesaid, to be made of the Survey and division of the said Territory into Counties, Hundreds and Parishes; and such and the same proceedings shall be had and taken upon and in respect to the Reports so to be made, as aforesaid of the value of the said Lands, as are before directed to be had and taken in respect to the Reports to be made of the Survey and division of the said Territory.

And it is Our Pleasure and We do further direct you to require and authorize the before mentioned Commissioners further to report to you, what particular Lands it may be proper to reserve in each County, Hundred and Parish, so to be surveyed, and valued by them as aforesaid, for Public Roads and other internal communications, whether by Land or Water, or as the scites of Towns, Villages, Churches, School Houses, or Parsonage Houses, or as places for the interment of the dead, or as places for the future extension of any existing Towns or Villages, or as places fit to be set apart for the recreation and amusement of the Inhabitants of any Town or Village, or for promoting the health of such Inhabitants, or as the scites of Quays or Landing places, which it may at any future time be expedient to erect, form or establish on the Sea Coast or in the neighbourhood of Navigable Streams, or which it may be desirable to reserve for any other purpose of public convenience, utility, health, or enjoyment; and you are specially to require the said Commissioners to specify in their reports, and to distinguish in the Charts or Maps to be subjoined to those Reports, such Tracts, pieces or parcels of Land in each County, Hundred and Parish within Our said Territory, as may appear to them best adapted to answer and promote the several public purposes before mentioned; And it is Our Will, and We do strictly enjoin and require you that you do not, on any account or on any pretence whatsoever, grant, convey or demise to any person or persons any of the Lands, so specified as fit to be reserved as aforesaid, nor permit or suffer any such Lands to be occupied by any private person for any private purposes.

And Whereas it is necessary that effectual provision should be made for the establishment and support, within Our said Territory, of the Protestant reformed Religion, as by Law established in England and Ireland, and for the education of Youth in the discipline and according to the principles of the United Church of England and Ireland; And We have for that purpose thought fit that such part, as hereinafter mentioned of the Waste and unoccupied Lands within Our said Territory and its Dependencies, should be appropriated and set apart, and should be placed under the control and superintendence of one Body, Politic and corporate, to be established within the said Territory by Letters Patent to be for that purpose issued under the public Seal of New South Wales. Now We do hereby require and enjoin you, when and so soon as such Body Politic and Corporate shall have been erected and established in pursuance of certain additional Instructions herewith given or hereafter to be given to you, to make to the said Corporation such Grants of Land within Our said Colony of New South Wales as hereinafter mentioned.

And for the purpose last aforesaid, it is Our pleasure and We do hereby direct that you do require and authorize the before mentioned Commissioners to mark out and set apart in each and every County, Hundred, etc., into which they may from time to time divide the said Territory, a Tract of Land comprizing one seventh part in extent and value of all the Lands in each and every such County, to be thenceforward called and known by the name of the Clergy and School Estate of such County. And it is Our pleasure that every such Clergy and School Estate shall as nearly as may be lie in one continuous and unbroken tract; and that, when it shall be impossible to select such a Tract of Land for that purpose without serious injury or inconvenience to private Settlers there, the said Commissioners shall be at liberty to allot such Clergy and School Estates in two or more continuous tracts in the same County; it being nevertheless Our Will and Pleasure that the Clergy and School Estates in each County shall not be interspersed with or divided by other Lands, excepting only in such special cases as aforesaid.

And it is Our Pleasure that the Lands, to be set apart in each County for the Clergy and School Estate thereof, shall be of an average quality and value in reference to the general quality and value of the Lands comprised in the said County; and that such situations shall be selected for this purpose as may afford, to the said Clergy and School Estates, a reasonable and equal share of every natural advantage of Water Carriage or internal communication, which may be possessed by the Lands in general throughout any such County; and you are to direct and require the beforementioned Commissioners to make a special and distinct report to you in reference to each County to be erected in Our said Territory pointing out, with all possible precision, the particular tracts of Land, appropriated for the Clergy and School Estates of such County.

And in case it shall not be possible to find in any of the Counties, which may be so erected as aforesaid, a sufficient quantity of vacant and unoccupied Land to make up the Clergy and School Estate of that County, then it is our Will that the deficiency be made up by an allotment of Land to be taken out of the nearest adjacent County, in which a sufficient quantity of ungranted Land may be found for that purpose.

And it is Our Pleasure that, when and so soon as the said Corporation shall have been erected and established, you do in Our Name pass, under the public Seal of New South Wales, Grants to the said Corporation and their successors of the Clergy and School Estates * aforesaid, when and as they may be successively allotted and ascertained in the several Counties of Our said Territory by any Reports from the said Commissioners, which shall be finally approved by you or by Us, as the case may be, to hold such Lands to the said Corporation and their Successors in fee simple and in free and common socage tenure. And it is Our Pleasure that all the waste and uncleared Lands within our said Territory, which shall remain, after making such several reservations as beforementioned for the public Service, for the support of the Clergy of the established Church of England and Ireland, and for the Education of Youth, shall be granted in Our Name and on Our behalf to private persons, willing to effect Settlements thereupon, and subject nevertheless to the several rules and conditions hereinafter particularly mentioned.

[* Note 37.]

And We do require that, from time to time and when and so soon as the said Commissioners shall have made any Report, which, being so approved as aforesaid, shall state the limits and the average value of the Lands in any parish to be erected in our said Territory, you do, by Proclamation in the public Gazette of Our said Territory or otherwise as may be most convenient, make known to all Our Subjects what is the Average price of Lands in any such Parish, to the intent that all persons may know the prices for which the same will be sold.

And you are to cause Lists of all the Parishes, in which Lands may remain for sale, with the average prices of such Lands, to be publicly exhibited in the office of the Surveyor General of New South Wales; and no such Lands shall be sold or disposed of, until the average price thereof hath been so published and exhibited in the office of the said Surveyor General during one Calendar month; and the highest offer, which shall during such month be made for any such Lands, shall be accepted, Provided that such offer shall at least amount to the beforementioned average price; and, to secure uniformity in all applications to be made for the purchase of such Lands, you are to cause printed forms of such applications to be prepared and delivered at the office of the said Surveyor General to any person, making application for the same, on payment of a fee of two shillings and sixpence and no more; and such Applications shall be received in such written form as aforesaid and in none other.

And, in case any such Lands as aforesaid shall continue unsold Lands unsold. during a period of three years next after the average value thereof shall in manner aforesaid have been made publicly known, you shall be and are hereby authorized to accept the highest offer, which shall be made for the same, although such offer may not amount to the average price, fixed by such valuation as aforesaid. Provided, nevertheless, that in case you should be of opinion that such Lands do not remain unsold by reason of the price being excessive, then and in every such case you shall and may suspend beyond the said period of three years the sale of such Lands at any prices below the said average price.

Provided always, and it is Our Will that in case you should see sufficient cause of a public nature for refusing any offer made by any particular individual for the purchase of any particular Lands, you shall be at liberty to decline accepting such offer, although the price offered may be the best and highest offer received for the same; it being nevertheless Our pleasure that the best and highest offer is in all cases to be accepted, unless the objection to the person making such offer should be of the clearest and most decisive nature.

And it is Our pleasure that all Grants of Land, to be made by you in Our Name to any person or persons in consideration of the payment of Money for the same, shall be made to such person or persons and his, her or their Heirs and Assigns, to be by him, her and them held in free and common socage, yielding and paying to Us, Our Heirs and Successors, a Quit Rent of one pepper Corn by the year for the same; and every such Grant shall pass in Our Name under the Public Seal of New South Wales, and shall be executed and delivered to the purchaser or purchasers at the office of the Colonial Secretary of Our said Colony on the payment of the purchase money for the same, or on the payment of the last Instalment of such purchase money, as the case may be, and not before; and, for the delivery of every such Grant and the preparing the same, the said Colonial Secretary shall be entitled to charge a fee amounting to Forty Shillings Sterling Money, and no more, or of such smaller amount as you from time to time, with the advice of the Executive Council of New South Wales, shall appoint; and every such Grant shall, previously to its being so delivered, be enrolled in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and for making every such enrollment the Registrar of such Court shall be entitled to receive, from such Grantees or Grantee, a fee of Five Shillings Sterling

And We do further authorize you to allow a Discount of £10 per Cent. on the immediate payment of the price of any such Lands, that is to say, on payment of such price into Our Treasury of Our said Colony in Gold and Silver Money, within one Calendar month next after the offer of the purchaser or purchasers shall have been accepted; and in all other cases such price shall be paid and made payable by four equal Instalments on the four most usual days of payment in the year.

And it is Our Will that such Lands, as aforesaid, shall be put up to sale in Lots comprizing 1,920 Acres, as nearly as may be; And, to prevent uncertainty and confusion, respecting the Lots of Land thus offered for sale, you are to require the before mentioned Commissioners of Survey and valuation to prepare Charts of each Parish, with division lines by which the whole of every such Parish will be divided into Lots of 640 Acres each; and you are further to cause such Commissioners to annex Schedules to such Charts, in which they shall point out and describe the natural or artificial Land marks, corresponding with the division lines on every such Chart; and every such Lot of 640 Acres shall also be described in the Chart of the Parish by a numerical mark; and all offers for such Lands shall be made and all such Grants of Land, as aforesaid, effected in reference to the Public Chart of the Parish, in which such Lands are situate.

And it is Our Will that no person shall be permitted, by any Contract or successive Contracts, to become the purchaser of more than 9,600 Acres of Land in the whole within the said Territory, except in pursuance of a Special order to be by Us for that purpose issued through One of Our Principal Secretaries of State.

And in case any person, purchasing any such Lands as aforesaid, shall, within ten years next after the payment of the whole of such purchase money, make it appear to you, with the advice of the said Executive Council, by sufficient proof to be transmitted to and laid before such Council, that he hath, within such period of Ten Years, relieved Our Treasury from an expence equal to ten times the amount of such purchase Money, by the employment of Convict Labourers upon such Lands, then and in every such case you are hereby authorized and required by a Warrant, under your hand, to direct the Treasurer of the said Colony to refund and pay back to any such person or persons the whole price or purchase Money, by him her or them paid for such Land, but without interest, and without refunding any Money, which may have been retained by or allowed to any such person or persons, as a discount on prompt payment; and, in computing the amount of the sum saved to Our Treasury by the employment of Convicts, the purchaser or purchasers shall have credit to the amount of One pound twelve Shillings for such and every Convict he shall have employed and wholly sustained at his own expence upon such Lands as aforesaid for the term of Twelve Calendar Months.

And it is Our further pleasure that, at the expiration of six months next after the time when any Lands shall have been so offered for sale as aforesaid at such average price as aforesaid, and shall not have been actually sold and disposed of, it shall be lawful for you to make Grants of such Land without purchase to any persons, applying for such Grants; and, to the end that uniformity may be observed in the manner of making such applications as aforesaid, you shall cause one form for such Applications to be prepared and printed with necessary blanks; and a Copy of every such printed form shall be delivered at the Office of the said Surveyor General to any person or persons making application for the same on payment of a fee of Two Shillings and Sixpence Sterling Money and no more.

And it is Our Pleasure that, upon receiving any such Application as aforesaid for the purchase of Lands, you shall return through the Colonial Secretary An Answer to every such person or persons as nearly as may be in the order of time, in which his, her or their application or applications may have been received by you; and that you shall not assent to any such Application, unless and until you shall see good cause to be satisfied that the person or persons, so applying, is or are able, and doth or do intend to expend and lay out, in the cultivation and improvement of such Lands, a sum of Money equal to one half of the price, at which such Lands may have been valued by the said Commissioners.

And it is Our Will that all such Lands, as aforesaid, which may be so granted without purchase, shall be so granted to the person or persons applying for the same, and his, her or their Heirs, or Assigns, to be by him, her or them holden in free and common socage, yielding and paying to Us, Our Heirs and Successors, a Quit Rent for the same of £5 per Cent. per Annum upon the value of the Lands, so fixed as aforesaid by the said Commissioners, and every such Grant shall pass in Our Name under the Great Seal of New South Wales, and shall be delivered to such Grantee or Grantees at the Office of the Colonial Secretary of Our said Colony, on the payment of a fee of Forty Shillings Sterling Money and no more to such Secretary for the delivery of every such Grant and the preparing thereof, or on the payment of such smaller fee, as you from time to time, with the advice of the Executive Council of New South Wales shall appoint; and every such Grant shall, previously to its being so delivered, be enrolled in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and for making every such Enrollment the Registrar of every such Court shall be entitled to receive from such Grantee or Grantees a fee of Five Shillings Sterling and no more.

And it is Our pleasure that such quit Rent, as aforesaid, shall not commence to be payable until the expiration of Seven Years next succeeding the date and Execution of every such Grant; and every such Grant shall contain a proviso or condition to the following effect, that is to say, that the same shall he and become absolutely forfeited and void, unless, within such term of seven years from the date thereof, such Grantee or Grantees, or his her or their Heirs, or Assigns, shall establish and make out to the satisfaction of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or person administering the Government of New South Wales, that he she or they hath or have, during such period of seven years, actually expended in the cultivation or Improvement of such Lands a capital sum equal to one fourth part of the value, at which the same may have been estimated by the said Commissioners previously to the issuing of any such Grant.

And it is Our Pleasure that such quit Rent, as aforesaid, shall, in and by every such Grant, be made redeemable at the option of the Grantee, his or her Heirs, and Assigns, on the payment by him, her or them into the hands of the Colonial Treasurer, of the capital sum of Money, equal to twenty times the Annual Amount of such Quit Rent; Provided that such payment be made within Twenty Years next after the Date and Execution thereof. And, in calculating the amount of the payment so to be made into Our said Treasury for the redemption of any such Quit Rent, the person or persons, making such payment, shall be entitled to credit for the sum of Thirty two Shillings for each and every Convict, whom he, she or they may appear to have employed and maintained at his, her or their own expence for one whole year in the cultivation of such Lands as aforesaid.

And it is Our Will that no person shall receive without purchase a Grant of Land exceeding 2,560 Acres or less than 320 Acres, Provided, nevertheless, that you shall be at liberty to make grants of Land of less than 320 Acres in the immediate vicinity of any Town or Village; in all other cases in which such Grants are not applyed for, for the purpose of establishing Farms or making Settlements, it being Our intention, by the before mentioned restriction, to prevent the increase and extension of Farms and Settlements too inconsiderable to replace with profit the capital to be expended in the cultivation thereof.

And it is Our Will that, in case any person shall receive a second Grant of Land without purchase, who hath at any former time received a Grant of Land from Us, either with or without purchase in Our said Territory, that then the Quit Rent, made payable on such second Grant of Land, shall become payable immediately from and after the execution thereof, and shall not be suspended for such term of seven years as aforesaid; It being Our intention that such suspension of payment as aforesaid shall take place in favor only of persons, who have not theretofore made any settlement in Our said Colony, and as an encouragement and assistance to such new Settlers.

And Whereas by Our said Commission We have granted to you authority in certain cases to pardon offenders in any Criminal matters and to remit such offences, fines and forfeitures, and, upon extraordinary occasions, to grant reprieves to the Offenders until and to the intent Our Royal Pleasure may be known therein, Now We do hereby require and enjoin you to call upon the Chief Justice for the time being of New South Wales to make to you a written Report of the cases of all persons, who may from time to time be condemned to suffer Death by any Sentence of the said Supreme Court; and such Reports of the said Chief Justice shall by you be taken into consideration at the first meeting thereafter, which may be conveniently held of Our said Executive Council, when the said Chief Justice shall be specially summoned to attend; and you shall not pardon or reprieve any such offenders as aforesaid, unless it shall appear to you expedient so to do, upon receiving the advice of Our Executive Council therein; but in all such cases you are to decide either to extend or to withhold a Pardon or Reprieve according to your own deliberate Judgment, whether the Members of Our said Executive Council concur therein or otherwise, entering nevertheless, on the Minutes of the said Council, a Minute of your reasons at length in case you shall decide any such question in opposition to the judgment of the Majority of the Members thereof.

And Whereas, under and by virtue of the said Act of Parliament, certain Officers of Our Sea or Land Forces are required to serve as a Jury on the Trial of all Informations, prosecuted before the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and it is reasonable that such Officers should receive an adequate remuneration for the service, which they are so required to perform, Now We do hereby authorize you, from and out of the unappropriated Revenue of Our said Colony, to pay to every such Sea or Land Officer the sum of Fifteen Shillings for each and every day. during which he shall actually attend and serve as a Juryman upon the Trial of any such Informations, as aforesaid.

And Whereas We have thought fit, by Letters Patent under Our Great Seal, bearing date the second day of October, 1824, to erect the Colony of New South Wales and its Dependencies into an Archdeaconry, and to appoint the Reverend Thomas Hobbes Scott to be the first Archdeacon, Now it is Our pleasure that the said Archdeacon, or the Archdeacon of New South Wales for the time being, shall act as and be the visitor on Our behalf of all Schools, Colleges and Religious foundations, whatsoever maintained, or to be established and maintained throughout the said Colony by any Grants made or to be made by Us for that purpose. And it is Our pleasure that you be in all things aiding and assisting the said Archdeacon in the execution of the duties, with which he is charged in and by Our said Letters Patent. And it is Our Pleasure that you do assign to such Chaplains, as may from time to time be appointed by Us to Officiate in New South Wales, such Spiritual Acres as the said Archdeacon shall advise; and you are to consult with the said Archdeacon upon all questions that may arise, touching the celebration of divine worship or the performance of any peculiar Ecclesiastical Rites and Ceremonies, or touching the Stipends or allowances of the inferior Clergy.

And it is Our further Will and Pleasure that you do, to the utmost of your power, promote Religion and Education among the Native Inhabitants of Our said Colony, or of the Lands and Islands thereto adjoining; and that you do especially take care to protect them in their persons, and in the free enjoyment of their possessions; and that you do by all lawful means prevent and restrain all violence and injustice, which may in any manner be practised or attempted against them; and that you take such measures as may appear to you with the advice of Our said Archdeacon to be necessary for their conversion to the Christian Faith and for their advancement in Civilization.


25. Captain Stirling To Under Secretary Hay.

London, 31st December, 1828.


     I have the honor to acknowledge the Receipt of your letter of the 30th Inst. acquainting me that I have been appointed to conduct the new Settlement about to be established in Western Australia with the Title of Lieutt. Governor.

I beg leave to inform you in reply thereto that I gratefully accept the nomination conferred upon me, and that I shall endeavour to discharge the duties of the Office with Zeal and Fidelity.

I have, &c.,
James Stirling.


26. Under Secretary Hay to Captain Stirling.

Downing Street, 1st January, 1829.


     I have laid before Sir George Murray your Letter of the 26th Ultimo, respecting the Grant * of 100,000 Acres of Land, which you are permitted to select at Swan River, and submitting the following Propositions connected with that Service, viz.:

[* Note 126.]

That the Isle Buache, together with such Live Stock as may be found on it, the Produce of that which you left there in 1827, should belong to you; that the Remainder of the 100,000 Acres, not contained in that Island, be those which are situated nearest to Cape Naturalist, in Geographe Bay; and that, as the latter Portion must remain for a considerable Time unprotected, you may not be required to stock it, nor to pay to Government the Duty of 6d. per Acre, until after a protecting Force be stationed in that Neighbourhood.

I am directed by Sir George Murray to acquaint you, in answer that he will have no Objection to allow the Buache Island to be considered as Part of the Grant to which you will be entitled, in conformity with the original Understanding; but that it will be necessary to reserve for the Use of the Crown a certain Portion of Land along the North-eastern. Side of the Island, in case it should hereafter be found expedient to erect any Buildings in that Quarter; and that any Points of Land, which should appear adapted to the Erection of Works of Defence at some future Period, must also be reserved in a similar Manner.

In regard to the Arrangement proposed in your Letter for the Allotment of the Remainder of your Grant, Sir George Murray conceives that Inconvenience may arise from introducing the Precedent of granting Land without requiring from the Grantee a Compliance with the usual Conditions; but, as it is understood that you are desirous of waving your Claim to the Choice of any further Land in the Neighbourhood of Swan River, Sir George Murray can have no Difficulty in agreeing to your Proposal to wait until, in the course of Colonization, it becomes expedient to settle the Country in the Neighbourhood of Geographe Bay, when you will be at liberty to select, before others, Land to the Extent which may be required to make up to you, together with that granted at Buache Island, the full Quantity of 100,000 Acres to which you are entitled.

It is calculated that the Land on the Island above mentioned, which will be granted to you, will not exceed 8,000 or 9,000 Acres; but whatever may prove to be its Extent upon being surveyed, Sir George Murray agrees to give you the whole of the Island and the Cattle thereon, with the Limitation with regard to Crown Lands, the Reservation of Spots for the future Defence of the Island already alluded to. You will of course be subject to the same Obligation as ordinary Settlers, in regard to the Outlay of Capital on the Land, Cultivation, etc., etc.

I have, &c.,
R. W. Hay.


27. Sir George Murray to Governor Darling.

[A copy of this despatch, relating to the formation of the settlement at Swan river, will be found on page 610, volume XIV, series I. {Here following.}]


(Despatch No. 82, per ship Waterloo.)

Downing Street, 12th January, 1829.


     By my Predecessor's despatch of the 28th of January. 1828, you were informed of the grounds, which induced His Majesty's Government at that time to relinquish * all idea of colonizing that part of the Western Coast of New Holland, which had been visited by Captain Stirling.

[* Note 173.]

Circumstances * have since occurred to render the occupation of that position desirable, and an Expedition, under the Orders of Captain Stirling, who will upon his arrival assume the Title of Lieutt. Governor, has therefore been fitted out, and is now mi the point of sailing from this Country to form a Settlement as near as may be possible to Swan River.

[* Note 173.]

The difficulties, which would at all times attend the keeping up a regular communication between Sydney and the new Settlement, have determined His Majesty's Government not to constitute this Colony a Dependency of your Government nor to place Captain Stirling under your Orders. He will look to the Cape for the necessary Supplies of the Colony, but you will of course afford every assistance which he may require, should he have occasion to apply to you for that purpose.

I enclose, for your Information, a copy of the Instructions with which Captain Stirling has been furnished, together with a copy of the Regulations, which have been issued for the guidance of the Settlers, who may wish to proceed to the new Settlement.

I am, &c.,
G. Murray.


[Copies of these papers will be found in a volume in series III. {Here Items 24 and 29.—Ed.}]


28. Remarks * on Swan River by Major Lockyer.

[* Note 130.]

(The original of this paper is preserved in the Mitchell library, Sydney.)

From the very little at present known respecting Swan River, the following may prove interesting to those about to proceed to that settlement:—

Swan River on the western coast of Australia, is in 32 Degrees south Latitude and East Longitude 115 Degs. 43.

In November, 1826, The Amity Government Colonial Brig was dispatched with a small detachment of His Majesty's 39th Regiment with some prisoners of the Crown, under the command of Major Lockyer of His Majesty's 57th Regiment to form a Settlement at King George's Sound, nearly to the South West side of Australia in 35 Degrees South Latitude and 117° 45' of East Longitude. Some reports were in circulation at this period of the probability that the French had anticipated us in forming a Settlement there, which however proved not to be the case, as, on the arrival of the expedition at the Sound on 25th December, it was ascertained that the French corvette Astrolabe, Captain D'Urville, had been there and surveyed the Harbour, his station poles were left standing, and had sailed for Sydney in November sometime; this information was obtained from the Crew of a sealing boat that came to the Sound from Middle Island, one of the groupe of the Archipelago of the Rechearch, Four Hundred Miles to the Eastward of the Sound and from them it was also learnt that these people frequented Swan River in their sealing excursions, which they described as being particularly fine country up the River, but that there was a Bar entrance, no vessel could get in; that the anchorage outside was bad, and the only shelter for a ship was at the north end of the Island of Rottenest; that on passing the Bar the Water deepens; that a ship of any size might lay there if a channel could be effected. About Six or Eight Miles from its entrance the River forms a large sheet of water or Harbour if vessels could get to it. These accounts induced the Commandant to endeavour to visit Swan River by walking overland from King George's Sound, it being distant one Hundred and Ninety miles; and he accordingly set out accompanied by three soldiers of the 39 and two Convicts, each individual carrying his Blanket and provisions; for some days after the party had left, it rained very heavy and by the arrival of the Isabella schooner from Sydney it was learnt that the Success Frigate, Captain Stirling, now Lieutenant Governor of Swan River, had gone there. A few days after this, the Commandant returned, not from any difficulty of making his way through the country, which he found to improve in soil and appearance as he proceeded, but from one of the soldiers falling sick.* The Isabella also brought accounts that the Cutter Currency Lass accompanied the Frigate, and that they might be expected every day at King George's Sound, which prevented the party from again setting out for Swan River. The Land about King George's Sound is on the whole very indifferent, being composed of Sand Hills and Rocks of grammit and Limestone, patches of good soil with abundance of most excellent Water. Fish and fine Oysters to be had in any quantities. The settlement, Frederick's Town, is on the North side of Princess Royal Harbour, which with the Sound and Oyster Harbour is one of the Largest, and probably one of the finest Sea Ports in the World. Swan River, without King George's Sound, would not be worth attempting, for ultimately, should the colonizing of the country at the Swan River succeed, King George's Sound will become the great resort of ships, the open Roads of Rottenest Island being too Dangerous to load and unload cargoes or to refit; on the North side of Cape Lewen is the port of Lechenault, which is to shoal to admit vessels of any burden, and never can prove of use; therefore King George's Sound is the place to form a Depot and place of Government for colonizing the country contiguous to and on the banks of Swan River; the importance also of the Port of King George's Sound, as well political as commercial, need only to be referred to to its position, relative to the former having the complete command of the passage to the Eastern side of Australia and Van Diemen's Land, and as to the latter commanding the best sealing ground on the southern coast as well the Whale Fishery, its position for Trade and communication to India, Java, Timor, China, Isle of France and the Cape of Good Hope.

[* Note 131.]

As to the country about Swan River very little is known; but, from the great similarity of appearance in Soil, Woods, and Mountains between it and King George's Sound, there is no doubt it will be found to be pretty much the same as the country about the Eastern coast of this immense Island. Whether the present Establishment will ultimately succeed is extremely Doubtful. The North American Colonies for years advanced but slowly from their commencement until forced labour was introduced. At Swan River, the Settlers will be left entirely on their own resources; they will find little time or opportunity at first for cultivation; the few Cattle and Sheep that will be introduced there will employ the settlers to watch them from the Natives, who are very numerous and fierce; no reliance can be placed on them and force will have to be used to drive them away and quit that part of the Coast.

It is generally supposed by persons, who by experience learn the difficultys of forming even a penal settlement, that the Swan River with all its local advantages will do nothing unless forced labour is introduced.

In the early state of this Settlement, it would be extremely Hazardous in any speculation being made from this Colony except in the article of provision, such as Flour, Beef, and Pork; good Bricks and Shingles, Weather Boards, Battens and Rafters all would find a ready sale, doors and Window Frames with the fittings complete, Shingle and Batten Nails, with nails of sizses, Farming Implements of this country make such as Ploughs, Harrows, Hoes, Spades and Shovels, a Few light Carts with Harness might find a ready sale.

The Climate at King George's Sound is on the whole much cooler than in the same Latitude on the Eastern Coast, during the Summer Months and being free from hot Winds. The Winters are also much milder than on the East Coast.


29. Regulations for the guidance of those who may propose to embark, as Settlers, for the new Settlement on the Western Coast of New Holland.

1°. His Majesty's Government do not intend to incur any expense, in conveying Settlers to the new Colony on the Swan River, and will not feel bound to defray the expense (cost) of supplying them with Provisions, or other Necessaries, after their arrival there, nor to assist their removal to England, or elsewhere (to any other place), should they be desirous of quitting the Colony.

2°. Such persons as may arrive in that Settlement, before the end of the Year 1830, will receive, in the order of their arrival, Grants (Allotments) of Land, free of Quit Rent, proportioned to the Capital which they may be prepared to invest in the improvement of the Land, and of which Capital they may be able to produce satisfactory proofs to the Lieutenant Governor, or other Officer Administering the Colonial Government, or to any two Officers of the local Government appointed by the Lieutenant Governor for that purpose, at the rate of 40 acres for every Sum of £3 which they may be prepared so to invest.

3°. Under the head of investment of Capital will be considered Stock of every description, all Implements of Husbandry, and other Articles, which may be applicable to the purposes of productive industry, or which may be necessary for the establishment of the Settler on the Land where he is to be located. The Amount of any Half Pay or Pension, which the applicant may receive from Government (and which he may be prepared to invest as before mentioned) will also be considered as so much Capital.

4°. Those, who may incur the expense of taking out laboring persons, will be entitled to an allowance (allotment) of Land, at the rate of £15, that is, of 200 Acres of Land for the passage of every such laboring person over and above any other investment of Capital. In the class of "laboring persons" are included Women, and Children above 10 years old (With respect to the Children of Laboring people under that Age, it is proposed to allow 40 Acres for every such Child, above 3 years old, 80 Acres for every such Child above 6 years old, and 120 for every such Child, above 9, and under 10 years old). Provision will be made by Law at the earliest opportunity for rendering those Capitalists, who may be engaged in taking out laboring persons to this Settlement, liable for the future maintenance of those persons, should they from infirmity or any other cause become unable to maintain themselves there.

5°. The License of Occupation of Land will be granted to the Settler (The Licence to Occupy will be given to the Settler) on satisfactory proof being exhibited to the Lieut. Governor, or other Officer administering the local Government, of the amount of property brought into the Colony (to be invested as above specified). The proofs required of such (this) property will be such satisfactory Vouchers of Expenses, as would be received in auditing Public Accounts. But the full Title to the Land will not be granted in fee simple, until the Settler has proved, to the satisfaction of the Lieutenant Governor, or other Officer administering the Local Government, that the Sum required by Article 2 of these Regulations, vizt., 1s. 6d. per Acre, has been expended in the cultivation of the Land (that the Sum required by Article 2°, vizt., 1s. 6d. per acre, has been actually expended in some investment of the nature specified in Article 3° or in the cultivation of the Land) or in solid improvements, such as Buildings, Roads, or other Works of the (that) kind.

6°. Any Grant of Land, thus allotted, of which a fair proportion, of at least one fourth, shall not have been brought into Regulations Cultivation, or otherwise improved or reclaimed from its wild state, to the extent of 1s. 6d. per Acre, to the satisfaction of the local Government, within three years from the date of the License of Occupation, shall, at the end of the three years, be liable to a (one further) payment of 6d. per Acre (for all the land not so cultivated or improved) into the Public Chest of the Settlement; and, at the expiration of seven years more, should the land still remain in an uncultivated or unimproved state, it will revert absolutely to the Crown (so much of the whole Grant as shall still remain in an uncultivated or unimproved state, will revert absolutely to the Crown. And in every Grant will be contained a Condition, that, at any time, within ten years from the date thereof, the Government may resume, without compensation, any land not then actually cultivated, or improved as before mentioned, which may be required for Roads, Canals, or Quays, or for the site of Public Buildings).

7°. After the Year 1830, Land will be disposed of, to those Settlers, who may resort to the Colony, on such Conditions as His Majesty's Government shall see occasion to adopt (shall determine).

8°. It is not intended, that any Convicts, or other description of Prisoners, be transported to this new Settlement.

9°. The Government will be administered by Captain Stirling of the Royal Navy, as Lieutenant Governor of the Settlement, and it is proposed that a Bill * should be submitted to Parliament, in the course of the next Session, to make provision for the Civil Government of new Settlement (for its Civil and Judicial Administration).

[* Note 125.]

(Colonial Office, 3" February, 1829.)
Colonial Office, 13" January, 1829.

[Note.—On 3d February, 1829, a revised set of Terms of Land Grants to Swan River settlers was issued by the Colonial Office. The words in italics were omitted and the words in parentheses inserted.]


30. Under Secretary Twiss to Sir F. Vincent and Messrs. Peel and Schenley.

Downing Street, 21st January, 1829.


     Having communicated to Sir George Murray the substance to association of the conversation I had with you in the course of yesterday, upon the subject of the allowance which was to be made to you in land for each child which you might introduce into the New Settlement, I am directed to acquaint you that he is induced, under the circumstances which you have stated, to consent to that allowance being granted to you in the following proportions, viz., 40 acres for every child above three years old; 80 acres for every child above six years; and 120 for every child exceeding that age, until 10, when the usual allowance of 200 will commence. I beg to remind you that I have not yet received from you the answer upon the subject of the new line marked out on the Map * describing the Boundaries of your proposed grant.

[* Note 126.]

I am, &c.,
H. Twiss.


31. Sir George Murray to Captain Stirling.

(Despatch No. 3.)

Downing Street, 22d Jany., 1829.


    With reference to the Instructions, which were conveyed you by my letter of the 30th ulto., No. 1, I transmit to you herewith a copy of the Regulations, which have been issued for the guidance of those persons who may propose to embark as Settlers for the new Settlement on the Western Coast of New Holland; and I have to desire that you will observe the following rules in carrying those Regulations into effect.

1st. In estimating the value of the Investments of Capital, which may be produced by the Settler as a claim for land on his arrival in the Colony, you will make a reasonable allowance not exceeding ¼th of their value for such live Stock as may have died on their passage and of the value and loss of which satisfactory proof shall have been brought forward by the claimant.

2. Any evasion of the principle of actual importation of Capital by re-exportation or otherwise will be held to vitiate the right of occupancy in respect to land, which may have been granted upon the faith of such importation of Capital; and, on proof being adduced before you of such malpractices, the land thus fraudulently obtained will revert to the Crown.

3. No sale of land will be held valid until the Crown has granted the title in full, the right of occupancy alone not conferring the privilege of so disposing of it.

4th. The Settler will not be entitled to receive any additional Grant of land, until his former grant shall have been cultivated and improved to the extent prescribed by the Regulations.

5. With reference to the reversion of land to the Crown on failure of the stipulations required, you will be at liberty to make an exception in certain peculiar cases, such for instance as the Grantee holding out the prospect of the early arrival of a fresh body of Settlers. In that case, a certain portion of it may be held by the Grantee in the nature of a Reserve and a limited extension of the period before its resumption by the Crown be allowed.

6. In order to guard against a capricious relinquishment of land by persons, who may have obtained a grant, you will take care that due notice be given that those, who shall quit the Colony without fulfilling the conditions prescribed, will endanger the loss of their Grant wh. will revert to the Crown.

7. Civil Servants will be allowed land upon the principle on which it is granted to other persons to the extent wh. they may require within reasonable bounds and provided the management of it does not interfere with their public duties.

8. No Fees are to be taken by any Public Officers for the performance of their duty in allotting land to Settlers or for any other similar duty.

9. You will reserve to the Colonial Govt. a right to construct Roads, Canals, Bridges, Churches and Schools on or through any allotted portion of land, as well as a right to Minerals and indigenous Timber necessary for such purposes; also a power to resume any points of land wh. may be necessary hereafter for the defences of the Settlement, on a fair compensation should Capital have been expended in Buildings on the land so required.

I have, &c.,
G. Murray.


31.1 [Enclosure.]

[These were the regulations dated 3rd February, 1829; see page 606 et seq. {Here Item 29.}]


32. Sir Francis Vincent to Under Secretary Twiss.

8 Grafton Street, 23d January, 1829.


     I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23d instant, and in reply beg to state that I have forwarded it to Mr. Peel, having previously sent him a letter to notify my withdrawing from the Association, in consequence of the restrictions imposed by Government upon the original plan, and which determination I believe has been signified to the Colonial Office.

I have, &c.,
Francis Vincent.


33. Mr. Thomas Peel to Under Secretary Twiss.

8 St. James's Square, 28th January, 1829.

Dear Sir,

     Agreeably to your Request, I forward Mr. Schenley's resignation as regards his Association in the projected Scheme of Emigration to the Swan River.

Sir Francis Vincent, I understand, having already relinquished his Share in the same by Letter to the Colonial Office, and Colonel Macqueen having withdrawn some Time ago, I now take the Liberty of stating that I am desirous of carrying on and completing the same Project by myself, as originally contemplated per Document from the Colonial Office, dated 6th December, 1828, addressed to Sir F. Vincent, Bart., T. P. MacQueen, M.P., Thomas Peel, and Edward Schenley, Esquires.

Yours, &c.,
Thomas Peel.


33.1 [Enclosure.]

Mr. E. W. H. Schenley to Mr. T. Peel.

8 St. James's Square, 23d January, 1829.

My dear Sir,

     Having attentively considered Mr. Twiss's letter of the 22d instant, as connected with our interview of the 20th, with the deepest regret I feel myself obliged to come to the following resolution:—

That the Government modification of our first proposal renders it impossible for us to carry into execution the project first entertained by the Association and for the fulfilment of which I would gladly have spent my last sixpence.

I cannot but think that the liberal and open view we have ever taken of the subject, and which we, at all moments, communicated to the Government, so far from forwarding have tended to raise jealousies respecting our intentions, which, from all that has passed, I suppose have been entertained to our prejudice in a quarter where we least supposed they would be received.

I am, &c.,
E. W. H. Schenley.


34. Under Secretary Twiss to Mr. T. Peel.

Downing Street, 28th January, 1829.


     With reference to your letter of this day's date, acquainting me that the gentlemen who proposed to join you in the investment of capital on the coast of Western Australia have signified their intention to withdraw from the undertaking, and that you propose to carry it on and complete it by yourself, I am directed by Secretary Sir George Murray to acquaint you that His Majesty's Government will have no objection to deal with you, individually, on the same terms on which they would have dealt with your party, had it continued its association.

I have laid before Sir George Murray, according to your desire, the reduced Map * of the Country adjoining to the Swan River, on which you have marked out the limits of a part of the assigned to tract of one million of acres, which you are desirous of possessing as a grant from the Crown; which part of the tract of one million is to be confined, in the first instance, to 250,000 acres, in consequence of the priority of choice which has been to that extent conceded to you. Had it been possible at once to forsee what ground might be required for the purposes of Government, Sir George Murray would have been disposed to confirm the choice which you have made of the district to be now assigned to you, subject of course to such corrections as may be necessary in consequence of the imperfect manner in which the country has been surveyed. But, as it is very possible that it may be expedient to fix the site of the New Town on Cockburn Sound rather than in a more inland situation, the Secretary of State thinks it necessary to extend the land reserved for the Crown somewhat further to the southward than you have proposed. This proposed extension of limits has been marked by a blue dotted line * in the copy of the reduced Map, which I enclose; but you will perceive, on inspection, that the tract of land, which you are desirous of possessing, will not suffer any material injury by the alteration, as a sufficient portion of the sea-shore in Cockburn Sound and of the coast adjoining will still be reserved for you. An accurate copy of the reduced Map will be given to Captain Stirling for his guidance, together with copies of all the correspondence which has passed between you and this Department.

[* Note 126.]

The 250,000 acres, constituting the grant now proposed to be assigned to you, will be put into your possession by the Lieutenant Governor as soon as you will have landed at the Settlement the four hundred persons, as required in my letter of the 6th December, 1828.

I am, &c.,
H. Twiss.

P.S.—Although the new Regulations allow but ten years for bringing land into cultivation, etc., yet, as your terms were arranged during the existence of the old Regulations which allowed twenty-one years, no part of your land will be considered as reverting to the Crown for want of cultivation, which shall have been brought into cultivation or otherwise improved or reclaimed from its wild state to the satisfaction of the local government within twenty-one years from the date of the grant of such respective part.



34.1 [Enclosure.]

[A copy of the map will be found in the volume of charts and plans. {Here following.}]

Map 4. Thomas Peel's [ultimate] grant of 249,999 acres.

[Source: SROWA Series 234, Item 263.]

[Click on the map to enlarge it.]


35. Under Secretary Twiss to Mr. T. Peel.

Downing Street, 29th January, 1829.

Dear Sir,

     I have been considering your request of postponing the embarkation of a part of your first four hundred settlers till May, instead of sending them all, as originally contemplated, in the present or in the next month; and as I find that the party to be sent out in May will probably arrive in August, or at the latest in September, I think there is no objection to allow you this extension of time. However, in order to afford you every possible accommodation, I have requested Captain Stirling to reserve your whole 250,000 acres till the 1st of November; if your entire number of 400 settlers are not in the Colony by that time, then, although you will not have fulfilled your contract, you shall still have as many acres of the tract, so reserved for you, as your actual number of settlers and amount of investment will cover at the rate of forty acres for every £3.

There is another point which it may be necessary for me to explain in this note, because I have just learnt that you are, or at least that you were, in some mistake respecting it. I am told your impression is that your stipulation was only to take out 400 souls, and that under that denomination you might include children of tender ages. If you will turn to the correspondence, you will find that my expression has always been not souls but persons, the object of the large grant to you being to secure persons capable of all the work necessary for a new settlement. The four hundred, therefore, whom you are to land, must be persons of more than ten years of age, although you will have an allowance for children below that age, according to the rate explained to you in my letter of the 21st of the present month.

I am, &c.,
H. Twiss.


36. Commodore Schomberg to Secretary Croker.

His Majesty's Ship Maidstone, Simon's Bay,
Cape of Good Hope, 20th March, 1829.


     I beg leave to enclose, for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, a copy of the orders given to Captain W. H. Freemantle * of His Majesty's Ship Challenger, conformably to their Lordships' directions; and which he sailed in execution of this day. Prior to his leaving this anchorage, I completed him to 168 days or Six months of all species of Provisions, the Beef and Pork I was necessitated to supply from the Maidstone, there being none in the Victualling Stores at this place, altho' Tenders for procuring some from the Merchants of this Colony have now been opened for some time.

[* Note 132.]

I also enclose a report of Survey on seven Invalids belonging to that Ship; she sailed from hence, however, with only three short of complement, Captain Fremantle having raised several during his stay here.

I have, &c.,
C. M. Schomberg, Commodore.


36.1 [Enclosure.]

Orders To W. H. Freemantle, Captain Of H.M. Ship Challenger.

By Commodore Charles Marsh Schomberg, C.B., etc., etc., Senior Officer of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels on the Cape of Good Hope Station.

In obedience to the commands of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.

You are hereby required and directed to proceed immediately, His Majesty's Ship under your command is in every respect ready for Sea, to the Swan River on the Western Coast of New South Wales, where you will on your arrival take formal possession of that part of the coast in the name of His Majesty, which possession is meant to be extended to the whole of the Western Coast.

You will remain with the Challenger in Cockburn Sound or some other safe Anchorage in that neighbourhood until you are in Receipt of further Orders, and in the mean time employ working Parties on shore in constructing Huts or other commodious Dwellings for reception of Troops, which may be weekly expected after your arrival there; You will endeavour to find Springs of Water as near to the River as may be, and instruct those under your Orders on shore to be constantly on the alert to prevent surprize from the natives, and especially to be very guarded with respect to the Women;

That you may be fully in possession of their Lordships' commands with respect to the Service on which you are proceeding, I enclose a Copy of the whole of the Instructions I have received from their Secretary on the Subject.

Given under my Hand on Board the Maidstone, Simons Bay, Cape of Good Hope, 14th March, 1829.

C. M. Schomberg, Commodore.


37. Governor Darling To Sir George Murray.

[A copy of this despatch, reporting the transfer of live stock and stores from Raffles bay to Swan river, will be found on page 743, volume XIV, series I. {Here following.}]


(Despatch No. 56, per ship Vesper; acknowledged by Sir George Murray. 9th December, 1829.)

Government House, 14 May, 1829.


     I have the honor to acquaint you that, in obedience to the Instructions contained in your Despatch, dated the 1st of November last, No. 41 received on the 9th inst., that necessary arrangements are in progress for withdrawing the Settlement from Raffles Bay.

As the Vessels to be employed in this Service must necessarily return at this season of the Year by the West Coast, I have, in consequence of a communication from Captain Freemantle of His Majesty's Ship Challenger, dated Cape of Good Hope, the 3rd of March last, informing me he had been directed to take possession of Swan River, desired that such Breeding Stock, Cattle, Sheep, etc., and Stores, as could be conveniently conveyed to that Settlement from Raffles Bay, should be carefully preserved and delivered over to the Officer having charge of it, conceiving that supplies of this nature will be important to the success of that Establishment.

I beg, Sir, to add that, although I have not been honored with any Instructions respecting the Settlement at Swan River, I have been induced to suppose you would not disapprove of the steps I have taken to give effect to what I have understood indirectly to be the intentions of His Majesty's Government.

I have, &c.,
Ra. Darling.


38. Sir George Murray to Governor Darling.

[A copy of this despatch, containing instructions for the control of the military in West Australia, will be found on page 677, volume XV, series I. {Here following.}]


(Despatch No. 71, per Ship Florentia; acknowledged by Governor Darling, 31st January, 1831.)

Downing Street, 11 August, 1830.


     With reference to my dispatch No. 82 of the 12th of January, 1829, in which you were informed that an Expedition had been fitted out from this Country with the view of taking possession of, and forming a Settlement at Swan River on the Western Coast of Australia, I have now the satisfaction of acquainting you that the accounts, which have been received from that quarter, are of a very satisfactory nature, both as regards the present condition of the New Settlement and its future prospects.

In the Instructions * communicated to Captain Stirling, prior to his departure from this Country, his attention was directed to the expediency of inducing the Settlers to select their Lands, South of the Swan River rather than to the Northward, with a view to the occupation of the Country in the direction of King George's Sound; and it appears expedient, in furtherance of this object, that the Military force, which must still be stationed there, should be placed under the orders of the Officer Commanding the Troops at Swan River.

[* Note 165.]

As, from a communication which I have had upon this subject with the General Commanding in Chief, it appears that the 39th Regt. (a detachment of which now forms the Garrison at King George's Sound) will not be called upon to proceed to the East Indies before a period of two years, it is proposed to leave this Detachment for the present at that Station, placing it under the Orders ** of the Officer Commanding the Troops in the Swan River Settlement, until the period for the embarkation of the 39th Regt. for India shall approach, when that detachment will be withdrawn and be replaced by one of the 63d Regts., a part of which is already employed in that quarter. Detailed Instructions, however, will be forwarded to you upon this subject by the General Commanding in Chief, And I will only further observe that, as soon as the arrangements connected with this measure shall have been carried into effect, it will rest with Lieutt. Governor Stirling, in concert with the Officer Commanding the Troops at Swan River, to take care that the Detachment at King George's Sound be provided with all such supplies as they shall require.

I am, &c.,
G. Murray.

[** Note 166.]


Lieutenant-Governor Stirling to Sir George Murray.

Perth, Western Australia, 9th September, 1829.

[A copy of this despatch is not available.]


39. Lieutenant-Governor Stirling to Sir George Murray.

Perth, Western Australia, 20th January, 1830.


     On the 9th of September I had the honour to announce to you my arrival here, and the commencement of this Settlement; I now beg leave to lay before you the following Information relative to its progress since that period, its present condition and future prospects.

As soon as the difficulty attendant on landing and housing the establishment was surmounted, I caused an exploration of the country immediately in the neighbourhood of the port to be made, and two towns to be laid out; one, named Freemantle, at the entrance of Swan River; the other, Perth, about nine miles higher up, on its right or northern bank. Allotments in these towns were speedily occupied by the first settlers, who arrived in August, and the more diligent among them commenced the erection of temporary buildings. On the 1st of October, I found it necessary to open a district of country for location. In the first instance, I selected for that purpose the banks of the Swan River; and, being urged by further applications for land, on the 2d of November I threw open the country extending between the sea and the mountains fifty miles southward from Perth, including the district originally reserved for Mr. Thomas Peel. In these districts, the first comers found suitable locations, and, acting under the impulse of novelty, there were many who at once established themselves on their lands, regardless of danger from the natives and of the difficulty they encountered in removing their goods from the coast. This adventurous and laudable spirit, which it was politic to encourage, I am happy in saying met with no check; and single individuals have traversed the country freely, at great distances from the towns, hitherto without interruption or injury.

In the course of October, November and December, some ships and many settlers * came in. Their arrival before the country could be properly surveyed occasioned great inconvenience. Viewing no evil so great to the settler as delay in assigning to him his land, I was accordingly forced to grant locations on unsurveyed lands, and to determine on the sites of towns without experience of their merits. An evil still greater than these arose from the number of early arrivals on the coast, hitherto unsurveyed; in consequence, one merchant ship, the "Marquis of Anglesea," by anchoring in an exposed situation, got on shore; and latterly, His Majesty's ship "Success," in coming in without a pilot, struck on the rocks and has received damage, not irreparable I believe, but serious.

[* Note 133.]

The survey of Cockburn Sound is now, however, complete; and, having made arrangements for buoying the channel and establishing proper pilots, I hope we shall have no more accidents of that description.

Among the settlers who arrived, there were many indentured servants, who had been recommended to their employers by parish officers, and whose habits were of the loosest description. To control these and to protect their masters in their just rights, as well as to secure the safety of persons and property, I was obliged before the conclusion of the year to appoint a magistracy and a body of constables; the first, from among the most wealthy and prudent of the settlers; the latter, including the steady and most respectable part of the working class. To render the decisions of the magistrates more formal, I selected a gentleman bred to the law and of moderate temper to act as their chairman, and as adviser to the government in matters of law. Since these appointments, I am happy in saying there have been fewer irregularities; and as the population of the Settlement is now generally diffused over a large surface, and as part have commenced agricultural labour, drunkenness and similar evils will be less frequent than when the people congregated in one or two towns with little to do.

The erection of a decent place of worship, the regular performance of divine service, and the administration of the sacrament on Christmas-day were the last events of the year deserving of notice. To the zeal and energy of the venerable Archdeacon Scott, who is still here on his passage to England, I owe the furtherance of these great objects. As a conclusion to this summary of the progress of the Settlement, I submit for your consideration the following Abstract from the Returns, showing at one view the point it has attained. For the details I beg to refer to the accompanying documents:—

Abstract from the Returns.

The explorations which have been effected at the instance of government and by private individuals, have put us in possession of knowledge relative to the coast to the extent of seventy miles northward from Rottenest, and ninety miles to the southward of it. In that extent the only discoveries of note are six rivers of no great magnitude, and one bar harbour capable only of receiving boats. The land seen on the coast to the northward is represented as indifferent, while that to the south is reported to be good. With the country between the sea coast and the hills, ten leagues to the north and south of Perth, we are well acquainted; and three or four parties having severally penetrated the hilly district beyond the first range to the extent of twenty miles, we possess some information relative to its soil and products.

It is not necessary to transmit the several reports, which have been addressed to me on these points, and on the qualities of the soil and water or the value of indigenous productions; these will be best determined when they shall have been tried. The only document of this description, which I consider it necessary at present to lay before you, is the survey of Cockburn Sound by the Chief Surveyor, Mr. Roe; on its accuracy the most perfect reliance may be placed, as it has been effected and lately completed by the most unwearying and skilful application. I beg to suggest, for the convenience of ships coming here, that it should be made public. It will be extended shortly so as to include the adjoining coast, and I shall then forward full instructions for vessels navigating the seas in the neighbourhood.

In the meanwhile I am proceeding to have the passage into Cockburn Sound properly buoyed and beaconed; and I have arranged with a gentleman resident here to maintain a sufficient establishment of pilots and pilot-boats.

By the document No. 1, you will be enabled to estimate the number and quality of the persons who have come to this Settlement and the descriptions of property they have imported. Among the heads of families, there is a great majority of highly respectable and independent persons. In the working class there is a great variety; some masters have been careful in the selection of their servants and workmen, but the greater part have either engaged the outcasts of parishes, or have brought out men without reference to character; and the consequence is, great inconvenience to such masters and endless trouble to the authorities established here.

Permission to select land according to the land regulations, heretofore transmitted, has been granted to all whose property has been valued. Their names and the extent of their respective claims appear in the document No. 2; a note of such persons as have actually commenced cultivation is therein contained.

In the towns of Perth and Freemantle, regular buildings are succeeding to the early temporary structures. I contemplate the establishment of three other towns, one on the shore of Cockburn Sound; one about ten miles higher than Perth on the Swan River; and a third on the Murray River, twenty-five miles to the southward. In fact, the mode of granting lands in such large allotments tends to spread a small community over a large surface, and to give existence to towns with few inhabitants.

Among so many settlers, there could not be a great number with minds and bodies suited to encounter the struggles and distresses of a new settlement; many, if not all, have accordingly been more or less disappointed on arrival, either with the state of things here or their own want of power to surmount the difficulties pressing around them. This has been experienced in the beginning by every new colony, and might have been expected to occur here as well as elsewhere. From this depression, however, the active and stout-hearted have now recovered, and ten or twelve of the leading men of the Settlement having occupied their grounds, and having declared themselves fully satisfied with the quality of the soil and the condition of their cattle, I consider the undertaking is now safe from the effects of a general despondency, which at one time threatened to defeat the views of His Majesty's Government in this quarter.

The live stock, which has been brought here, has been in several instances of the very best quality, and it will be seen by document (—) to be very considerable in quantity; with very few exceptions arising chiefly from neglect, all kinds have done well. We are now drawing to the close of the dry season, and yet the bullocks and sheep continue to fatten upon the natural grasses. Horses from England have not prospered so well, but have maintained themselves without any food but the native herbage.

The building of houses and boats, the examination of the country, the selection of land, and the transport of goods from the shore to their allotments have not left settlers much time to attend to any thing else. The season during the three last months, moreover, has been unfavourable to agriculture and gardening from the hard and dry state of the ground; but, the time for breaking it up being now arrived, I hope to see farming operations commence with vigour.

I am happy to say, with reference to grazing, that there is every reason to be satisfied with the result of our experience up to the present time.

Fishing has been much and successfully practised. The rivers and coasts abound in fish, and great supplies of food have been drawn from that source.

Many settlers have employed themselves in the construction of boats for the conveyance of their goods on the rivers. The number in the Settlement is now very considerable, being not less than forty.

Such are the various points, by the exhibition of which I am desirous to acquaint you with the present condition of the Settlement. In offering them, I have confined myself to a representation of facts; but, as I now propose to consider the prospects of the country, I beg to premise that the following statements contain matters of speculation rather than of certainty:—

The qualities of the territory, to which the best informed persons attend in forming an opinion of its future prospects, are its its Climate and Soil, its Position for Trade, and the Products of the Sea in its vicinity.

Our experience of its Climate extends throughout the circle of the year with the exception of the month of February. That it is favourable to health in an uncommon degree is the undoubting persuasion of every one with whom I have spoken. In the district we now inhabit, the workmen during the last two months have not been able to work in the sun between ten and three o'clock, but exertion at other times produces no consequent lassitude; and, with the exception of ten or eleven days, the summer heat has been tempered by southern breezes, and thereby rendered very agreeable. Since the first of November we have had no rain in the lower country; but I think rains have fallen occasionally in the hills during the last fortnight, and I expect a share of them on the coast before the middle of February. This drought of three or four months fortunately occurs at the season proper for harvest; it is, however, too long for the purposes of pasturage, particularly in this district, as the grasses and plants are much injured by the great and glowing heat of the sun. The colony may be extended three degrees to the southward, and I think the future arrangements will probably be that the best districts for pasturage and wheat tillage will be the more southerly; while maize, olives, vines and other similar products will be cultivated in this parallel.

With reference to the Soil of this territory, I cannot offer a sound opinion; we at present are acquainted with a very small portion of it; we still less know how far climate may modify the productive power of soils, and indeed have had as yet no experience of their qualities. The most skilful farmers from England profess themselves at a loss to form a judgment here; as processes in vegetation are going forward before their eyes, even on mere sands, which are wholly irreconcileable to their pre-existing notions and modes of judging. I think I am safe, however, in stating that the sandy soils on the coast produce a shrubby herbage on which horned cattle, horses and sheep have lived now throughout the greatest part of the year; that there is between the hills and the sea a breadth of red loamy soil, on which grain and grasses may be produced; that the banks of the rivers and numerous streams offer the richest alluvial loam; and that the hills themselves, although occasionally very rugged, are capable of becoming good sheep pasture, as the soil on their sides, where it exists at all, is invariably excellent, resting on granite and whinstone. I am more cautious on this subject, because there have been opinions given by individuals, who have seen only the sea beach, and have stated broadly that there is no good soil. In the estimate I have offered, I have therefore confined myself to points undisputed by those who have examined the country.

Those persons in the Settlement, who direct their attention to the Produce of the soil, may be divided into two classes, following either pasturage or tillage. I cannot at present form an estimate of the number of cattle, horses and sheep, which may be kept on an average of any given extent of land. The country as it is will certainly sustain a considerable number, as there is both food and water at the present season, the driest and worst of the year.

This fact is important in the highest degree; for the power of supporting such animals without artificial food will secure not only a profit to their owners, but a supply hereafter of necessary food to the Settlement. We have already here several thorough bred horses; the profit on these in the case of any one individual will be more precarious than on sheep; of the latter, we have small flocks from the well-known breeds of Messrs. Henty, Trimmer and Tower, and to their increase and future profit I think we may look with confidence, as their proprietors here are fully satisfied with their progress heretofore. I consider pasturage as the source whence the greatest returns will be made, particularly when the Colony shall extend itself two or three degrees of latitude to the southward.

The views of those, who look to tillage, are as yet confined to gardening and farming for their own consumption. I shall follow the judicious and enlightened opinion of Mr. Archdeacon Scott in attracting to this mode of production those only, who have no capital or who cannot be employed in grazing; as the cheapness with which grain is raised in the colonies around us will prevent the production of it at a rate lower than it may be imported at. There are, however, some articles on the produce of which it is supposed great profits may be made, viz.:

Very superior flax and a species of hemp grow spontaneously, and may be cultivated perhaps to advantage; timber is abundant, and may be profitably sent to export; vines, olives, figs, opium and tobacco are looked to as future sources of export; but these, as well as many more such articles, must await the time when the present subsistence and comfort of the settlers shall be provided for, and a stock of the necessaries of life accumulated.

The facilities which are offered here for curing fish for the Mauritius, and for carrying on a whale fishery, have not escaped the attention of some of the settlers; even thus early I have had applications from several parties, but, judging the time not arrived, I have not hastened by particular encouragement such establishments. It is believed that there is abundance of fish to make a fishery profitable, and the coast is visited between the months of May and November by a multitude of whales; it will be my object to foster these fisheries in boats and small vessels drawing their maintenance from these shores.

The position, which this Settlement occupies with reference to the Trade of these seas, has been in some measure shown by the arrival of ships from various parts of the world; some of these from England have landed all their cargo here, but the greater part have called without inconvenience, and have disposed of part of their passengers and cargo here, and have then proceeded on their routes; two vessels have gone from this to the Malay Islands, but only one has come thence. I understand there are four small vessels intended to be employed in that and other lines of trade, diverging from this as a centre; and it will then be determined whether the idea is correct, which supposes this a good position from which to dispose of British manufactures among the easternmost of the Malay Islands.

These are the prospects which engage the minds of those persons here, who have overcome the anxieties of their first establishment in a new land. But, in holding out to your notice these prospects, which are contemplated by those whose minds are in a healthy state, I must not lead you to believe that such a favourable view of things is entertained by all here. The greater part, incapable of succeeding in England, are not likely to prosper here to the extent of their groundless and inconsiderable expectations. Many of the settlers who have come should never have left a safe and tranquil state of life; and, if it be possible to discourage one set of people and to encourage another, I would earnestly request that for a few years the helpless and inefficient may be kept from the Settlement, while, to the active, industrious and intelligent, there may be assured with confidence a fair reward for their labours. This country may, at no distant period, absorb with advantage to Great Britain and herself an immense migration of persons; any great portion of which, if sett forward too soon, will ruin her prospects and their own.


39.1 Enclosure 1a: Abstract from General Muster Book.


39.2 Enclosure 1b: Supplementary List of Persons.


39.3 Enclosure 2a. List of Persons who have claimed Land.


39.4 Enclosure 2b. Supplementary List of Persons having Property.

[END of text, Volume VI.]

Commentary Notes on the Official Papers

Notes to Item 24a.

Note 34, pages 101 and 107.

Instructions to Governor Darling.

The instructions to previous governors, like their commissions, had been very similar. The radical and complete changes in the instructions to Governor Darling indicate the marked change in the civil administration of the colony, which was commenced under Sir Thomas Brisbane and continued under Governor Darling. Note the altered territorial jurisdiction, the establishment and powers of the executive council, the appointment of an enlarged legislative council, with the definition of its legislative functions, the subdivision of the settled parts of the territory into counties, etc., the valuation of all crown lands in settled districts, the granting of lands to a corporation for the clergy and school estates, the sale of crown lands and great changes in land grants without purchase, fees for naval and military jurors, and the erection of the colony into an archdeaconry. These were subjects on which instructions were issued to Governor Darling and to no previous governor at the time of assuming office.

Note 37, page 118.

The Clergy and School Estates.

On the 3rd of February, 1829, the following grants were made to the clergy and school estates:—85,388 acres at Beaufort, Belubula, Calvert, Errol and Lindesay; 17,600 acres at Oakley, Bathurst; 15,464 acres at Queen Charlotte's Vale; 17,640 acres at Ponsonby, Bathurst; 9,063 acres in Camden; seven grants in the following parishes in the county of Cumberland:—60 acres in Gordon, 100 and 1,000 acres in St. Peters, 661 and 1,284 acres in Saint Luke, 8,138 acres at Rooty hill, and 4,175 acres at Botany; 42,467 acres in St. Vincent; 168,000 acres at Port Stephens; 2,810, 2,256, 1,908, 2,230, 1,560, and 2,429 acres in the county of Durham; and 2,322, 2,128, 2,040, anrl 2,560 acres in the county of Northumberland. On the 26th of August, 1829, further grants were made, viz.:—830 acres at Prospect; 200 acres at Castle hill and South Colah; 4,250, 4,298, 2,600, 2,552, and 2,560 acres in the county of Durham; 3,840, 2,472, and 2,314 acres in the county of Northumberland. On the 24th of November, 1829, a grant of 435 acres was made in the district of Petersham; this grant included Glebe point, Sydney. On the 12th of May, 1830, the last grant of 400 acres at Castlereagh was made.


Notes on Series III, Volume VI.

Note 113, page 551.

Captain James Stirling.

James Stirling was born in the year 1791, and was the fifth son of Andrew Stirling of Lanarkshire. In August, 1803, he entered the navy on the store-ship Camel, and in this ship he sailed for the West Indies. On that station, he was transferred to the Hercules of 74 guns, the flagship of Sir John Thomas Duckworth. In 1805, he joined the Glory, the flagship of his uncle rear-admiral Charles Stirling, and was present at the action off Cape Finisterre on the 22nd of July. He remained with his uncle in the ships Sampson and Diadem, and, in 1807, served at the operations in the Rio de la Plata. On the 12th of August, 1809, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. In 1811, he went as flag-lieutenant with his uncle to the West Indies. On the 19th of June, 1812, whilst on that station, he was given command of the sloop Brazen, and held this command until the year 1818. In this sloop, he served off the Mississippi river, in Hudson's bay, in the North sea, off the coast of Ireland, and in the gulf of Mexico. On the 7th of December, 1818, he was promoted to post rank. In the year 1823, he married Ellen Mangles, and had a numerous family. On the 25th of January, 1826, he was appointed to H.M. ship Success, and sent to form a settlement at Raffles bay in north Australia (see pages 808 et seq. and 811 et seq., volume V in this series).

He was appointed lieut.-governor of the settlement at Swan river in 1828, and on the 18th of June, 1829, he landed at Rouse's head, Fremantle. His career as lieut.-governor is recorded in this and succeeding volumes.

In 1839, when there were prospects of war, he resigned his office to proceed on active service. During the years 1840 to 1844, he commanded the Indus of 78 guns on the Mediterranean station, and, during the years 1847 to 1850, the Howse of 120 guns on the same station. He was created a knight grand cross of the order of the Redeemer of Greece. On the 8th of July, 1851, he was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral. From January, 1854, to February, 1856, he was commander-in-chief on the China and East Indies station. In 1857, he was given the rank of vice-admiral, and, in 1862, that of admiral. He died on the 22nd of April, 1865.

Note 114, page 551.

The Cutter and Tender.

This was the cutter Currency Lass under the command of lieutenant Proudfoot of H.M. ship Success. Her destination was King George's sound; but, when off Tasmania, she lost her rudder, and Proudfoot was forced to enter Port Dalrymple for repairs. From this port, she returned to Sydney, where she arrived on the 8th of April, 1827.

Note 115, page 552.

Also pages 578 and 585.

Early navigators.

It is probable that the first navigator to visit the western coasts of Australia was Dirck Hartog in the ship Eendraght on a voyage from Holland to the east in October, 1616. He first sighted the coast in about latitude 26° 50' S., a little south of the island now named after him. On this island, he landed and erected a plate to commemorate his visit. He followed the coast northward to the neighbourhood of latitude 23° S.

Nearly two years later, in July, 1618, another outward bound ship, the Mauritius, touched the coast near the North-West cape, and discovered the Willem's river. In the same year, the ship Zeewulf found land in 20° 15' S.

In July, 1619, J. de Edel on an outward voyage examined the coast to the south of Hartog's discovery for about two and a half degrees of latitude, and the reefs now known as Houtman's Abrolhos were discovered and named after Frederick de Houtman.

In 1622, the west coast, south of these discoveries, was visited in a vessel called the Leeuwin.

These various discoveries were recited in the instructions to Tasman.

In 1628, the ship Vianen, one of seven ships homeward bound with the Dutch governor-general, Pieter de Carpentier, accidentally sighted the coast in latitude 21° S., and traced it for two hundred miles. This coast was afterwards known as De Witt's land.

In June, 1629, the Batavia, commanded by Francisco Pelsart, was wrecked on Houtman's Abrolhos.

In 1644, Abel Jansz Tasman visited and charted the north-west coast.

In 1688, William Dampier, in a buccaneering ship called the Cygnet, visited the same coast in the neighbourhood of the modern Buccaneer archipelago.

In 1696 and 1697, Willem de Vlamingh searched the west coast with the ships, Geelvink, Nyptang and Wezel, for traces of a missing vessel. During this voyage, Rottenest island was discovered on the 29th of December, 1696, and Swan river a few days later. Afterwards the coast was traced as far as North-West cape, from whence Vlamingh sailed on the 21st of February, 1697.

In 1699, William Dampier visited the west and north-west coasts in H.M. ship Roebuck on an exploring voyage. On the 2nd of August, he sighted the coast to the north-east of Houtman's Abrolhos, and, following it northwards, he named and anchored in Shark's bay four days later. After remaining in this bay for eight days, he followed the west and north-west coasts to latitude 16° 9', where, owing to the numerous shoals, he sailed for Timor.

In 1772, de St. Alouarn, in the French vessel Le Gros Ventre, visited the coast; but, with this exception, no further discoveries were made until the beginning of the nineteenth century. All the early navigators had condemned the country as barren and inhospitable.

Note 116, page 553.

Mr. Frazer.

Charles Fraser was the colonial botanist who had been appointed by Governor Macquarie.

Note 117, page 554.

The French charts.

These charts were prepared from the surveys made in the French corvettes Geographe and Naturaliste and the frigate Casuarina in the years 1801 and 1803, and were published by Louis Freycinet at Paris in the year 1812. {Map 2 here is an example.}

Note 118, page 567.

The Report of Mr. Frazer.

This report will be found on page 578 et seq. {Here Item 2.2.}

Note 119, page 569.

The River Vasse of the French.

This is the small stream which enters Geographe bay near the modern town of Busselton.

Note 120, page 578.

The French nation have the shadow of a right founded on discovery to a portion of that Coast.

This "right" was probably suggested by the surveys made in the French corvettes Geographe and Naturaliste and the frigate Casuarina in the years 1801 and 1803.

Note 121, page 581.

Oxley's Journal.

The reference will be found on page 21 et seq. of the Journals of Two Expeditions into the Interior of New South Wales by John Oxley, published at London in 1820. During his exploration of the Lachlan river, Oxley gave the name of Princess Charlotte's Crescent to the plains on both sides of the river, lying to the east of mounts Amyot and Stuart and to the south of Croker's range.

Note 122, page 586.

Principles similar to those formerly adopted in the settlement of Pennsylvania.

By a charter dated 4th March, 1681, Charles II of England granted to William Penn the province of Pennsylvania in America. By this charter, Penn was created the supreme governor with power to make laws by and with the advice, assent and approbation of the freemen residing within the province, provided such laws were not repugnant to the laws of England. He was given the power also to appoint officers and to grant pardons. Penn sent three commissioners to manage the province, and drew up proposals to attract adventurers to the new colony. It was agreed that "a quantity of land or ground plot should be laid out for a large town or city in the most convenient place upon the river for health and navigation," and that every purchaser of five hundred acres in the country should be granted ten acres in such town.

Note 123, page 587.

Commander Gardiner.

Allen Francis Gardiner was a retired officer of the East India company's service. In the year 1830, he published anonymously The Friend of Australia, or a Plan for exploring the interior and for carrying on a survey of the Whole continent of Australia. This is a large 8vo volume of 428 pages, containing three coloured plates of the imaginary progress of an exploring expedition in the interior, a coloured plate of a proposed flag for Australia, a plan for a proposed town, and a large folding map delineating imaginary rivers and ranges of mountains in the interior. On the map, a huge river system was drawn, with a watershed including all the modern state of Queensland west of the dividing range and the modern Northern Territory, uniting in a huge river entering the sea on the coast of the modern Kimberley. district of the state of West Australia.

Note 124, page 588.

Memorial from Mr. Thomas Peel.

The proposal for an association to carry settlers to Swan river was due largely to the diffidence of the British government in undertaking the burden of forming a new colony, and to the expectations by the promoters of prospective financial benefits.

Note 125, pages 595 and 608.

A Bill.

The bill, as presented to parliament, was as follows:—

Draft of a Bill.

To provide, for a limited time, for the Government of His Majesty's Settlements in Western Australia, on the Western Coast of New Holland (3 April, 1829).

(Note.—The Words in Italics are proposed to be inserted in the Committee.)

Whereas divers of His Majesty's Subjects have, by the License and Consent of His Majesty, effected a Settlement upon certain wild and unoccupied Lands on the Western Coasts of New Holland and the Islands adjacent, which Settlements have received and are known by the name of Western Australia: And whereas it is necessary to make some temporary provision for the Civil Government of the said Settlement until the said Undertaking shall be further matured, and the number of Colonists in the said Settlements increased; Be it therefore Enacted, by The King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in the present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That it shall and may be lawful for His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, by any Order or Orders to be by Him or them made, with the advice of His or their Privy Council, to make, ordain, and (subject to such conditions and restrictions as to Him or them shall seem meet) to authorize and empower any person or persons resident and being within the said Settlements, to make, ordain and establish all such Laws and Ordinances as may be necessary for the peace, order and good government of His Majesty's subjects, and others within the said Settlements; provided that all such Orders in Council shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as conveniently may be after the making and enacting thereof respectively: Provided also, That no part of the Colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, as at present established, shall be comprised within the said New Colony or Settlements of Western Australia.

And be it further Enacted, That this Act shall continue in force until the Thirty-first day of December, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four, and thenceforward until the End of the then next ensuing Session of Parliament, and no longer.

Note 126, pages 596 and 612.

Also pages 598, 603, 609 and 611.

The Map.—A blue-dotted line.

On this map,* the grants to J. Stirling were shown in pink and the grant to the association in yellow. The former included the island Buache and a rectangular block of ninety thousand acres, facing the four points of the compass with the north-western corner touching the coast at the mouth of the river Vasse (see note 119) in Geographe bay. The grant to the association was bounded on the north by the Swan river, on the east principally by the foothills of the Darling range, and on the west by the Canning river, with an additional block between the coast and that river. This additional block at first included the whole of the foreshores of Cockburn sound and most of Mangles bay. It was altered by the reservation for the crown of a sector, with its apex at Canning river and its base on the foreshores of the sound, and the addition of a compensatory sector to the south of the original grant with its apex at the foot of the Darling range and its base on the foreshores to the south of Mangles bay. These alterations were marked by dotted lines.

{* Here Map 3.—Ed.}

Note 127, page 599.

Capt. Currie, Mr. Morgan.

Mark J. Currie and John Morgan were appointed harbour-master and storekeeper respectively on the first establishment for the settlement at Swan river.

Note 128, page 599.

According as the New South Wales Charter stands.

A copy of the charter will be found on page 509 et seq., volume I, series IV. By this charter, a supreme court was established for the trial of "all Pleas, Civil, Criminal or Mixed," within the colony of New South Wales, "situate in the Island of New Holland." As the jurisdiction of this court was coextensive with the jurisdiction of the governor of New South Wales, and as Swan river was not included in the latter jurisdiction, the said court could not adjudicate in the new settlement.

Note 129, page 600.

The limits of any existing Colony.

By Governor Darling's commission (see page 99 et seq., volume XII, series I), the colony of New South Wales was defined as all that part of the continent of Australia lying to the east of the one hundred and twenty-ninth meridian of east longitude, which now forms the eastern boundary of the state of West Australia. The settlement was formed at King George's sound in 1826. In his secret instructions (see page 701, volume XII, series I) to E. Lockyer, the commandant of that settlement, Governor Darling claimed the whole continent for the British crown, but formal possession was not taken until the year 1829 by W. H. Freemantle in H.M. ship Challenger.

Note 130, page 604.

Remarks on Swan River.

These "remarks" are undated, and it is evident from the penultimate paragraph that they were written for residents at Sydney, N.S.W.

Note 131, page 605.

One of the soldiers falling sick.

This excursion was made by E. Lockyer on the 12th to the 15th days of February, 1827 (see pages 479 et seq. and 494 et seq.){Not included here.}

Note 132, page 613.

Captain. W. H. Freemantle.

W. H. Freemantle in H.M. ship Challenger arrived in Gage's roads in May, 1829. On entering the roadstead, the ship struck a rock without sustaining serious damage. Freemantle took possession of the west coast and made a brief excursion on the Swan river; but he was unable to make any preparations for settlers before James Stirling arrived in the ship Parmelia on the 1st of June. Freemantle with the Challenger remained at the settlement until the end of August.

Note 133, page 615.

Some ships and many settlers.

The names of these ships are not available. The order, in which the ships left England for the new settlement with the number of passengers, was as follows:—Parmelia, 55 passengers; Marquis of Anglesea, 90; Gilmore, 170; Egyptian, 65; Minstrel, 30; Eagle, 18; Hoogly, 190; Rockingham, 220; Atwick, 15. Several ships also arrived from Sydney, Tasmania and the Cape of Good Hope.

Other Notes from Series I Items.

Note 165, page 677 {HRA Series I, Volume XV.}.

The Instructions.

The instructions to James Stirling will be found in volume VI, Series III. {Here Item 24.}

Note 166, page 677 {HRA Series I, Volume XV.}.

Under the Orders.

The settlement at King George's sound was founded on the 30th of December, 1826, as a dependency of New South Wales, and thus the first settlement was established within the boundaries of the modern state of West Australia (see volume VI, series III).

In a despatch, dated 12th January, 1829 (see page 610, volume XIV {here item 27.}), Sir George Murray informed Governor Darling that a new settlement was to be formed under James Stirling at Swan river, and that its administration was to be independent of New South Wales.

By giving orders on the 11th of August, 1830, that the military at King George's sound should be under the officer commanding at Swan river and should receive supplies from Swan river, the control of the settlement at King George's sound was virtually removed from the jurisdiction of the governor of New South Wales. Thus the settlements in West Australia became an independent colony.

Note 173, page 610 {HRA Series I, Volume XIV.}

Relinquish all idea of colonizing.—Circumstances.

In January, 1828, the foundation of a settlement at Swan river, West Australia, was considered inadvisable on account of the distance of the locality from Sydney and of the difficulties of maintaining communication (see page 739, volume XIII {Here Item 5Ed.}).

The settlement at Swan river was formed by free immigrants, and no convicts were transported under James Stirling who was the first commandant. The instructions to Stirling * were dated 30th December, 1828, and liberal land grants were promised to any immigrant. As the locality was without any recognised British jurisdiction, Stirling was ordered to administer the government in an equitable manner, until such time as full instructions on administrative, judicial and legislative matters could be transmitted to him.

{* Here Item 24.}

[END relevant notes, Volume VI.]


1. HRA Series I, Vol XIII, pp. 264-65


Governor Darling to Earl Bathurst


(Despatch No. 56, per ship Australia; acknowledged by right hon. W. Huskisson, 28th January, 1828.)

Government House, 21st April, 1827.

My Lord,

     I had the honor to acquaint Your Lordship, in my Despatch No. 96 of last Year, that Captain Stirling was about to proceed with His Majesty's Ship Success to Swan River, situated on the South West Coast of New Holland, in order to ascertain if the Opinion, which had been formed of the local advantages of that part of the Coast, as detailed in the Statement, which accompanied my Despatch above referred to, was correct.

It must be unnecessary for me to offer any Opinion on the Subject, as Captain Stirling's report of his Expedition, which I have now the honor to enclose, will afford Your Lordship all the information and means of judging, which I possess.

Assuming that the Calculation of the periods necessary to make the respective Voyages to and from India, and other parts, are correctly stated, Swan River would appear to hold out advantages highly deserving attention. A convalescent station might be established there, as proposed by Captain Stirling, for the Sick and Invalids from India, instead of sending them at once settlement, to England. A passage of Thirty days, the period stated in the Report as necessary for Vessels to go from India to Swan River, is inconsiderable in comparison with the length of time required to make the Voyage to Europe; and, at Swan River, the advantages to an Invalid in point of Climate would I have no doubt be greater than in England. The Establishment, however, if to any extent, must be effected directly from England or India, totally independent of this Colony, Swan River being too remote and the Voyage too uncertain to admit of its depending on this place for its supplies. It will be seen by the Report that Captain Stirling considers that Swan River possesses all the advantages with reference to the Trade with the Eastern Islands, which attach to Melville Island or any part of the North West Coast of this Territory. Among the natural advantages of Swan River, it will be observed that good Water is abundant. The Country is besides favorable for Cultivation, the Soil in general being excellent. Some Specimens of which and of the natural production of the Country I do myself the honor to forward to Your Lordship by this opportunity. And the Scenery is represented as at once grand and picturesque.

It is much to be regretted that the Water at the entrance of Swan River is not of a greater depth, there being only about Six feet for a Mile above its Mouth, More particularly as Melville Water, through which it flows, appears to be a Commodious and Magnificent Basin. Nautical Men can, however, best determine whether the advantages of the external Anchorages of Gages's Roads and Cockburn's Sound are likely to compensate for the inconvenient nature of the River. As Captain Stirling's visit to Swan River may attract attention and the report find its way into the French papers, it appears desirable, should His Majesty's Government entertain any intention of forming a Settlement at that place, that no time should be lost in taking the necessary Steps.

I cannot close this Communication without pointing out the Zeal and Ability, with which Captain Stirling undertook and has completed this Voluntary Service; and I beg to be permitted to mention him as an Officer highly deserving Your Lordship's approbation and the confidence of His Majesty's Government.

I have &c.,
Ra. Darling.

2. HRA Veries I, Volume XIII, pp. 301-04 {Excerpts.}


Governor Darling to Under Secretary Hay.

(Despatch per ship Australia: acknowledged by right hon. W. Huskisson, 5th March, 1828.)

Government House, 14th May, 1827.


     I have the honor to acquaint you that the pressing demands. . . .


. . . .I have thought it right to apprise you of the difficulties, which are encountered in effecting this one object alone, I mean supplying the Settlements, not however with any view of complaining either of the trouble or anxiety it necessarily occasions me, as my earnest and anxious desire is to promote the Welfare of the Colony and the objects of His Majesty's Government to the utmost of my power, but that you may be aware that the ordinary restrictive Instructions are not applicable to this Government, and, if enforced, must infallibly injure and protract the advancement of the Colony.

Having pointed out the inconvenience and Expence, which must attend the maintenance of so many Settlements, I would beg to submit to my lord Bathurst, whether any of them can, consistently with the views of Government, be dispensed with. If it be intended to shut out the French from establishing themselves on the Coast of New Holland, which I conceive is an object of some importance, I am not aware that King George's Sound can be abandoned. The French Corvette L'Astrolabe, previous to her late Visit to this, touched both at King George's Sound and Western Port, and remained, I understand, some time at each place. It may, therefore, be presumed they are not altogether indifferent to the subject of settling themselves in this part of the World.

It will be seen by Captain Stirling's report, which accompanies my Despatch No. 56, that they are supposed to have some claim to "Geographe Bay," which is on the South West Coast near to King George's Sound, and not distant from Swan River. The Report also shews that the latter place possesses advantages which, if generally known, would probably attract the French to that spot; and this Circumstance will, I have no doubt, receive due attention when His Majesty's Government may take into consideration the expediency of establishing a Settlement there. It may be useful to point out that its situation, with reference to Port Jackson as regards the difficulty of Communication, is similar to that of King George's Sound; I have, therefore, stated in my Despatch No. 56 that an Establishment to any extent could only be formed at Swan River either from England or India.

I shall not apologise for these lengthened details. They will be useful if they put you in possession, as I trust they will, of the nature and local Situation of the several Settlements and Dependencies with reference to the Seat of Government.

I have, &c.,
Ra. Darling.

P.S.—I have omitted to state in my Letter that the Vessels belonging to Government are the Brigs Amity, Mary Elizabeth, and the Governor Philip, the Schooners Isabella and the Mermaid. The latter is permanently attached to the Settlement at Melville Island, as the Mary Elizabeth will be to the new Settlement at Port Essington.


3. HRA Series I, Volume XIII, p. 306.


Governor Darling to Under Secretary Hay.

(Despatch per ship Australia; acknowledged by under secretary Hay, 6th November, 1827.)

Government House, 15th May, 1827.


     I wrote to you on the 25th of December last respecting the Grants of Land, ordered to Sir Michael Seymour and Captain Hawker of the Navy; and I hope to receive orders in reply not to Grant Land to any absentee except under very special Circumstances.

I take this opportunity of mentioning that it has been the practice to give Land to the Captains of the Navy, who have been employed here on their quitting the Colony. They have invariably applied for it since my arrival; and it would no doubt be taken ill, should this application be rejected without orders to that effect from Home. I, therefore, beg to be honored with Lord Bathurst's sentiments and commands on the subject.

It has been granted, I understand, as an acknowledgement of their Services, the Land being considered of little value; but I am altogether averse from the principle of giving Land to Absentees. The Country may be over-run, but will not be Settled by such proceeding. An Individual for example obtains his Grant; Authorises some Person as Agent to lay out two or three hundred pounds in the purchase of Sheep and Cattle, whom he remunerates by a certain proportion of the increase. A Hut is built for the Stock keeper, and a few Hurdles are put up as a Stock Yard without any intention on the part of the proprietor ever to Settle or improve the Land.

I beg to state that I have authorised Captain Stirling of His Majesty's Ship Success receiving a Reserve of 1,560 Acres on condition of its being Stocked and improved in the Course of 18 Months. I have had the less hesitation in doing this, as he has already exerted himself in the Service of the Colony, and is proceeding to establish a Settlement on the Northern Coast, and has evinced his intention of employing some considerable Capital here by applying to purchase 9,600 Acres, to which I have also acceded. You will see by the accompanying Letter to Lord Bathurst that he is desirous of having charge of the Settlement at Swan River, should it be determined to settle that part of the Country; and I have no doubt that his wishes lead him to become a resident, which is very desirable; and I am glad to perceive that Several of the Military shew the same disposition.

I can only say on the subject of the enclosed Application that Captain Stirling is a very Zealous Officer, and appears to me from his Conduct and Character well qualified for the Situation he is desirous of obtaining.

I have, &c.,
Ra. Darling.

4. Series I, Volume XIII, pp. 549-550.


Governor Darling to Viscount Goderich.

(Despatch No. 106, per ship Elisabeth; acknowledged by Sir George Murray, 31st May. 1828.){Excerpt.}

Parramatta, 13th October, 1827.

My Lord,

     I have the honor to report to your Lordship that I have felt it necessary to authorize the purchase of a Brig, the Lucy Ann, for the service of the Government, without waiting for your Lordship's sanction as required by my Instructions. The cost of this Vessel is £2,170. Others have also been purchased during the present and the last year, vizt.

Schooner Alligator, 91 tons, £320; Brig Governor Phillip, 177 tons, £1,200; and I request your Lordship's authority for the amount being charged in the public accounts.

My letter to Mr. Hay of the 14th of May last will have put your Lordship in possession of the situation of the Settlements on the Coast with reference to the Seat of Government. Most of them are very remote from Sydney, and in some cases * a period of two and three months is necessary to communicate with them, as will be seen by my letter to Mr. Hay above referred to. I am not at the same time disposed to recommend these being abandoned, as their possession may prevent any other Power from settling on the Coast. I would on the contrary urge the expediency of Swan River being settled, as, from the favorable nature of Captain Stirling's Report, which accompanied my Dispatch No. 56,** it is not improbable that it may attract the French to settle in that part.

[* Marginal note.—Raffles Bay, Melville Island, King George's Sound.]

[** Note 126.]

The present Settlements being retained, it is not likely that any foreign Power would attempt to establish itself in New Holland.*** The Western Coast, I apprehend, holds out no inducement.

[*** Note 127.]

The accompanying Sketch will put your Lordship in immediate possession of the relative Situations of the several Settlements on the Coast, seven in Number, vizt.

Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Moreton Bay, Raffles Bay, Melville Island, King George's Sound, and Western Port, to which must be added Norfolk Island. . . .

Commentary Notes to Appendices

Note 126, page 550.

My Dispatch No. 56.

This despatch was dated 21st April, 1827 (see page 264.) {i.e. Appendix 1.}

Note 127, page 550.

It is not likely that any foreign Power would attempt to establish itself in New Holland.

This was a direct official admission as to the secret cause of the establishment and maintenance of the subsidiary settlements at scattered points on the seaboard of Australia. The fear of foreign settlement on the continent had been mentioned previously (see note 57, volume XII {following}).


Volume XII, Note 57, page 194.

The motives.

This was the second occasion on which fears were entertained that the French government intended to found a settlement in Australian waters. In 1802, the French exploring expedition, under the leadership of commodore Baudin, visited Port Jackson. A few hours after the departure of the vessels Geographe and Naturaliste, which formed the expedition, Governor King heard rumours that a French settlement was proposed in Tasmania (see page 737, volume III ). He forthwith instructed lieutenant Robbins to sail in the schooner Cumberland and to establish the claim of England to Tasmania. Robbins met Baudin at King island, and received a denial of any intentions of the French government to form a settlement (see page 151, volume IV). On the return of the Cumberland to Port Jackson, Governor King decided to found a settlement at Risdon cove, on the Derwent river in Tasmania. He appointed John Bowen to command the new settlement, and gave him secret instructions, dated 1st May, 1803, as to his conduct in the event of any French attempt to form an establishment (see page 153, volume IV). The extension of colonization to Tasmania in 1803 and to West Australia in 1826 were thus hastened by fears of French settlement.


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