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Title: The History of New South Wales
Author: George Barrington
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 1203391h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: September 2012
Date most recently updated: September 2012

Production Notes: See below, following this header.

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Production Notes:

Barrington's book relies heavily on David Collins's "An Account of the English Colony of NSW", Vol. 1 (1798) and Vol. 2 (1802).

This work combines the scans of two editions of the same book. In the first [1802] edition, there are contents but no illustrations. In the second [nominally 1810], there are illustrations, no contents, a "supplement" and various updating paragraphs, annotated as such.

The main technical production problems have been: * the original scan is in poor condition (mould) and poorly printed, making checking of punctuation difficult. * the sources are various, and hence spellings are commonly inconsistent.

Some of the punctuation has been modernised, chiefly quotations.

I have tried to make the spellings of the main people, places, ships, etc. consistent. Although Parramatta is so spelt in the tile page, it is spelt "Paramatta" throughout; this spelling has been retained, as have most others, except obvious typographical errors.

As a convention, all pounds (money) are shown italicised, e.g. 25l, although the "£" sign is used in the 2nd Edition.

In the 2nd Edition, and in Collins's account, ships' names are italicised; here they are not.

Where a year begins, I have interpolated it at the start of the paragraph in which it occurs; e.g. "1793.]"

Barrington's footnotes are shown in [ ] at the end of the paragraph in which the note is indicated

2nd Edition Frontispiece: Town & Cove of Sydney.

Port Jackson, Parramatta, Sydney,
and all its
from the Original Discovery of the Island;
the Customs and Manners of the Natives;

and an account of
from its

superintendant of the Convicts.

Enriched with beautiful Coloured Prints

Printed for M. JONES, No. 1 Paternoster Row

— 1802. —

[2nd Edition: Printed for M. JONES, No5, Newgate Str

& Sherwood, Neely, & Jones.

Paternoster row, 1810.]




Thoughts on the importance of tracing the origin of History
Novelty of the undertaking
Why the Author was calculated to perform the undertaking
His consolation for the task
Contrition for the past, and hope for the future



Promised advantages to the Mother Country
Nature of the country and its contents
Still superior advantages
Original projector of the colony
Its effects
Plan for executing the work


Comparison between New South Wales, and America
Situation of the Island
Partly discovered by the Dutch in 16l6
More discovered in l6l8
Again visited in 1619
Visited by Dampier
——— by Cook
Botany Bay, why so called


How made
Method of procuring food
———— climbing trees
Description of their features
—————— the females
Ungent universally used
Children taught to use it
Ornaments for the hair
Paint for the face and body
Sears deemed ornamental
Holes bored in the noses of the natives
Mutilation sustained by females
How effected
Privation suffered by the men
The operation performed by the Cam-mer-ray tribe
Form of the Yoo-lahng
The ceremony began
Miserable situation of the sufferers
A mystic deception
The operators imitate dogs
The motive
The presentation of a grass kangaroo
Its supposed power
The operators imitate the kangaroo
————— imitate thunder
Its supposed effect
The operators shew the use of the spear
The mystic bone
Method of extracting the tooth
———— healing the gum
The honour of fortitude
Reward for suffering
A good quality in the natives
A comparison
Method of fishing
Implements for fishing
Women fish for the men
Men dive for fish
Broil the fish caught
Method of catching birds
Spirit of retaliation with a dreadful example
Method of obtaining fire
The men singe their beards
Ingenuity of the natives
A curious comparison
A native learns the effects of boiling water
Filthy habits of the natives
Justification and satisfaction for murder
Colours of the natives


Nature and construction of the huts
Nests of insects at their entrance
Accidents by fire frequent
Some natives live in the rocks


How used while young
—— named
—— ornamented


Imitations of men
Assist in fishing
Children feel an insult
———— resent insults
———— exact mimics


Want of national character
The natives no strangers to falsehood
Their duplicity
—— knowledge of astronomy
—— respect for old age


Their few articles of dress described


General description of their property


Thoughts on the language
The power of imitation


Particular description of each


Thoughts on death
Young persons buried
Others burnt
Motherless children murdered and burnt


Natives live in a state of nature
————— in tribes or families
Governed principally by the Cam-mer-rays


Total want of it
Knowledge of good and evil


Pain in the belly cured
Serious effects of the small-pox
Venereal disease
A cure from pain


Ignorance prone to superstition
Priestcraft of the Cam-mer-rays
Illness in consequence of superstition
A native bled by Mr. White
Superstitious cure for superstition
Superstition prevents the natives broiling fish at night
————————————— whistling under a rock
Belief in spirits
The approach of an apparition
Fear the darkness of night
Important office gained by the absence of fear
Astronomical fears


Strangers to fine passions
Romantic way to make choice of a wife
Brutal way of obtaining one
The wife admitted to the husband's tribe
The brutal conduct retaliated
Subjection of the women
Affection strengthened by brutality
Ill usage returned by the females
Men not confined to one wife
Females not devoid of art
An anecdote
A little modesty
True love an interesting anecdote
The women concerned in most quarrels
Supposed cause


The motive for establishing the colony
Vessels contracted for to carry convicts, &c. to Botany Bay
Capt. Phillip goes on board the Sirius
The Sirius drops down the river
———— joined by some transports
———— sails for Spithead
Orders arrive for embarkation
Capt. Phillip takes command of the fleet
Signal for sailing
Seamen demur, and some removed
Wages paid in advance
The fleet sails for St. Helens
Passes the Needles
Names and tonnage of the vessels
——— of the principal officers
Five men missed
A mutiny discovered
The Hyæna leaves the fleet for England
The fleet anchors near Santa Cruz
A convict escapes, but is re-taken
The fleet sails
The fleet crosses the Equator
Two accidents
The fleet anchors at Rio de Janeiro
The convicts and ship's crews refreshed
The fleet sails
A convict drowned
A combination to release some convicts
The fleet anchors in Table Bay
Governor Phillip lands at the Cape of Good Hope
———————  pays his respects to the Governor of that settlement
Stalls prepared for cattle
Cattle embarked
The fleet leaves the Cape of Good Hope
Governor Phillip leaves the fleet to proceed to New South Wales
The fleet nears land
Its general appearance
The Golden Grove ship's a sea
A squall takes the Sirius
Botany Bay seen
The fleet carried away
Lost distance regained
The Fleet anchors in Botany Bay
Remarks on the voyage
Governor Phillip's arrival
State of the country on landing
Port Jackson and Broken Bay examined
Ground ordered to be cleared
Natives seen
Appearance of the coast
A fine harbour discovered
Spot fixed on for the colony
Two French ships seen
M. de la Perouse enters Botany Bay
The English leave Botany Bay
Governor Phillip arrives at Port Jackson
Governor's guard encamped
Some convicts landed
The flagstaff erected
The Sirius arrives from Botany Bay
Convicts and troops landed
Confusion in consequence
House for the Governor erected
Women disembarked
Several die of the scurvy
Live-stock landed
Ground cleared for a garden
His Majesty's commission opened
Extention of territory
Letters Patent read
Governor addresses the convicts
A muster of the convicts
Several missing
Overseers wanted
Thefts discovered
Criminal court assembled
Several tried and punished
Bad effects of mercy
A criminal hung
Others banished
An executioner obtained


Criminal Court, and its power
Civil Court and its power
Justices of the Peace
Other powers of the Governor
———————— Lieut. Governor
———————— Judge-Advocate
Allowance of provisions
Store-houses began
Idleness of convicts
Several escape from Botany Bay
The conduct of M. de la Perouse to them
The Supply sails from Port Jackson with Lieut. King, for Norfolk Island
An observatory began
Capt. Hunter surveys the harbour
————— meets many natives
The Governor wishes to be friendly with the natives
Two natives visit the settlement
The little attention paid to orders
Some natives resist a crew's landing
—————— run away with tools
—————— fired at by some sailors
—————————— M. de la Perouse
Good understanding with the natives broken
Several couples married
The attention paid to divine service
[2nd Edition: later advantages to the colony]


The colony suffers by much rain
The Governor takes an excursion
The weather becomes bad
Dreadful sick list
Barracks began
The French leave Botany Bay
————— previously bury the Abbe L. Receveur
A wharf began
Ordnance landed
The transports begin to clear
Convicts employed to make bricks
More ground cleared
Damage done by hogs
A street marked out
The Supply returns from Norfolk Island
An account of her absence, &c.
Lieut. King lands at Norfolk Island
Land cleared
A Bay named
Two Islands named
The soil at Norfolk Island described
Lieut. Bass leaves Norfolk Island
Discovers an Island and names it
Two transports discharged
Convicts wounded by the natives
The Governor finds the natives shy
A native complains to the Governor
Building proceeds
The scurvy rages
A convict hangs herself
Thefts continue
Punishment promised to the sailors and convicts
Venereal disease among the convicts
Punishment for concealing it
A redoubt began
The native dogs destroy the live-stock
Instant execution of a criminal
Three transports sail China
The Supply sails for Lord Howe Island
State of live-stock
[2nd Edition: Improvements in state of live-stock in 1812]
Brick huts began
A stone house began for the Governor
Store house and road to the wharf compleated
A convict wounded by the natives
———— murdered by them
The Supply returns
Ball Pyramid discovered
Two men tried and punished for an assault
Two convicts killed by the natives
Some natives shaved
The Governor goes in search of the murderers
His Majesty's birth-day kept
Boundaries of a county fixed
Called Cumberland county
Several criminals pardoned
A convict found by an officer in his tent
Two others taken
Effects of wanting economy
Cattle lost
The fish quit the coast
A native nearly starved
A shock of an earthquake
Four ships sail for England
The Supply sails for Norfolk Island
A cellar made for spirits
Provisions landed
Precaution to prevent fires
Natives assist the English to fish
——— seize some fish when caught
——— wound a convict
Labour suspended
Damage done
Thefts frequent
Prince of Wales's birth-day kept
A party of natives land
——————— steal a goat
Pursued by the Governor without effect
The Supply returns from Norfolk Island
Accounts from that settlement
A gold mine pretended to be discovered
The imposter detected and punished
A convict beat by the natives
Bad promise of wheat
The Sirius ordered to the Cape of Good Hope for flour
The Golden Grove ordered to Norfolk Island
Two boats put together
The only cow left goes mad
The Golden Grove sails for Norfolk Island
—— Sirius——————— the Cape of Good Hope
Allowance reduced
A timber bridge began
Native attack a convict
The Governor pursues the natives
—————— discovers some fine land
Ground for building marked out
The Golden Grove returns from Norfolk Island
Information received from Norfolk Island
Dispatches sent to England
A redoubt compleated
A criminal executed
Receivers of stolen goods punished
State of the convicts
Eagerness of the convicts to return to England
A remarkable instance
A boat house began
A powder magazine marked out
A native secured
Thoughts on the close of the year


The store robbed
A criminal hung
Natives commit a theft
Plan to prevent buying stolen goods
The barracks taken possession of
A murder committed by the Natives
———— attempted to be revenged by the brick makers
Natives kill one and wound six of the colonists
An armed party sent against the natives
The brick makers punished
Plan for robbing the store detected
Six men tried and hung
Norfolk Island escapes an insurrection
A hurricane and its effects
Neutral Bay discovered
Dreadful effects of the small pox
Two native children cured by Mr. White
The Sinus arrives from the Cape of Good Hope
Account of the voyage and cargo
Black Cæsar escapes and is caught
Additional respect on the King's birth day
A comedy performed
The Supply sails for Norfolk Island
The Governor returns from an excursion
Richmond Hill named
Convicts claim their freedom
An accident
Curious encrease of male live-stock
The Supply returns from Norfolk Island
Dispatches from that settlement
Plan to prevent robberies
The Sirius surveyed
Transactions with the natives
An emu killed
A vessel launched
Injury sustained by rats
Reduction of provisions
The Supply sails for Norfolk Island
A female house-breaker taken
———— attempts to postpone her death
———— executed
A great quantity of fish caught
Two natives taken
One escapes and the other attempts
A brick house began for Capt. Collins
The produce of the harvest
The Supply returns from Norfolk Island
Turtle brought from Lord Howe Island
A curious cabbage
Convicts and stores sent to Norfolk Island
The first settler from among the convicts
A look-out established
Abundance of fish caught
Boats ordered to fish for the public
Cæsar escapes, is wounded by the natives, and returns
The Supply returns from Norfolk Island
Information from that place
The allowance of spirits reduced
Embarkation for Norfolk Island
Sirius and Supply sail for ditto
The Governors kindness
Ration again reduced
Work affected thereby
Live-stock, an evil
Fish issued from the store
Distressed state of the settlement
Loss of the Sirius
Martial law proclaimed
The Supply returns
Dreadful situation of the colony
Provisions again reduced
Private boats taken for public use
Great quantity of fish caught
Fishing for the public fails
Private boats returned
Lieut. Bass sails to Batavia for provisions
Tender anxiety
Great consideration of the Governor
A woman reduced to beg by being robbed
An old man dies for want
A kangaroo caught
Hogs killed by the native dogs
The colony in want of salt
Method of obtaining it
Ground prepared for sowing
The Lady Juliana returns from England with convicts
Loss of the Guardian
Information brought by the Lady Juliana
Several criminals pardoned
A thanksgiving
The Justinian arrives with provisions
The full allowance of grain delivered
A shop opened
The Surprize transport arrive
The Neptune and Scarborough arrives
Melancholy sick list
A mutiny detected
A detachment of the New South Wales corps disembarked
—————— take possession of the barracks
Total of the sick
A portable hospital got up
A town marked out
Provisions received by the transports
A brick store house built
A road formed
The Surprize and Lady Juliana ordered for Norfolk Island
Official instructions respecting the distribution of land
A whale comes into the harbour
———— drowns three people
———— is killed by the natives
The Surprize, Scarborough, and Neptune sail
Bennillong sends a present to the Governor
————— visited by the Governor
A whale feast
The Governor alarmed
—————— wounded by a native
—————— reaches the settlement
Bennillong revenges the attack made on the Governor
The Governor recovering, visits Bennillong
The men escape in a boat
The country on fire
A hut began for Bennillong
The Supply returns from Batavia
Preparations for an escape discovered
A boat lost and five men drowned
The natives friendly
A store house built at Rose-Hill
Several buildings compleat at Sydney
A Dutch snow arrives from Batavia
Mortality during 1790
The natives steal the colours
The Supply sails for Norfolk Island
Canvas manufactured at ditto
Survey of ditto
Effects of heat
The Dutch snow sails for England
Eleven persons escape in a boat
The first convict settler declines assistance from the public store
Ration reduced
A plan of escape discovered
——— to prevent escapes
A musquet found by a native in the sea
The Supply arrives
Provisions low at Norfolk Island
Town at Rose-Hill called Paramatta
Natives exchange fish for bread
——— injured by the convicts
——— wound a man
A native forbid the settlement
Natives alarmed
The Mary Ann with convicts arrives
The Matilda with ditto, ditto
Convicts become settlers
The Atlantic arrives
—— Salamander ditto
——————— ordered to Norfolk Island
William and Ann arrives
Caution respecting spirits
Natives visit the settlement
——— are fired at but escape
Labour of the month
The Gorgon arrives
Live-stock brought from the Cape
A seal for the colony
Additional power received by the Governor
Two ships arrive
An inquiry and the result
The Supply surveyed
The Albemarle arrives
A mutiny
The Britannia arrives
—— Admiral Barrington ditto
—— Atlantic sails for Norfolk Island
Twenty convicts seek a road to China
——————— are sought after in vain
The wife of one found
The woman's husband brought back
The sufferings of the party
Three more recovered
A second attempt made by three convicts
Sixteen retaken
Measures taken by the Governor to prevent future attempts
Plan for arming and seizing the stores
The Britannia sails on a fishing excursion for whale
—— Mary Ann ditto
—— William and Ann ditto
—— Matilda ditto
Few whales caught
Many seen
Determination of the masters
They refit and make a second attempt
Only meet with the same success
The Supply sails for England
Land in cultivation
Great mortality
Effects of the sun's heat
Tanks cut
The Albemarle sails for India
The Active sails for ditto
Orders to masters and captains
The Governor sails for England
A convict bit by a snake
The snake killed
The convict dies
The bake-house at Paramatta robbed
Riots suspected
Proclamation in consequence
Regulation respecting complaints
The Pitt arrives from England
Lieut. Governor Grose arrives
Convicts and military house
Provisions ditto
A sloop in frame
A shop opened
The Pitt sails for Norfolk Island and Bengal
The depredations of the Irish convicts
——————— meet a check
The value of comfort
A suicide attempted
The natives rob the settlers
————— fired at and one wounded
A convict murdered by the natives
The corn housed
Convicts detected with corn
Bark huts built
Curious list of articles
Ration lowered
The Atlantic arrives with provisions from Calcutta
Ration encreased
A market established at Paramatta
Depredations recommenced
The crime of hunger
The Britannia arrives from England with provisions
Ration encreased
A female convict pardoned in consequence of marriage
The effects of mercy
The Britannia sails
The Atlantic arrives from Norfolk Island
Information from that place
The corn there injured by a grub
Lime-stone discovered
The Britannia engaged to procure cattle from the Cape
The Royal Admiral arrives with stores, provisions, convicts, and military
The Britannia sails
Dispatches sent to England
Licences granted for the sale of beer and spirits
The effects
Cloathing delivered to the convicts
Articles made to sell
Governor Phillip determines to return to England
Philadelphia, a brigantine, arrives from Philadelphia with provisions
The Governor buys the cargo
The vessel hired to go to Norfolk Island
Capt. Collins's account of the Author
Three warrants of emancipation pass the seat
The Royal Admiral sails for Canton
Goods sold in the country
The Kitty, transport, arrives from England, with convicts and stores
Some dollars arrive
Brick hospital finished at Paramatta
Governor Phillip leaves the colony
Takes two natives with him


State of the country when Governor Phillip returned to England
Land in cultivation
Ground cleared
Effect of convicts working for themselves
Governor Phillip's gifts
Their effects
Means taken to counteract the evil
The government devolves on Francis Grose, Esq.
Alterations in the government
The supposed cause
The Hope arrives from Rhode Island
Sells her cargo
New regulations
Hot weather
The natives set fire to the country
Effects of the fire
Mortality of the year
The Bellona arrives from England
A melancholy accident
Remarkable depravity
Ground marked out for the settlers
Liberty Plains, why so called
Officers allowed ground
——————— convicts
The Bellona sails
————— previously smoked
Four convicts found on board
Room wanted for the stores
Shah Hormuzear arrives
Two Spanish ships arrive
An observatory built
The Kitty arrives from Norfolk Island
Intelligence from the Governor
The Shah Hormuzear sails for Bengal
The Chesterfield sails
The Dædalus arrives
Capt. Vancouver
Two natives of New Zealand brought
————— sent to Norfolk Island
Curious appearance
State of cultivation
The Kitty repaired
A mutiny discovered
The Britannia returns from the Cape of Good Hope with live-stock
Account of cattle destined for the colony
Cause of mortality
The natives rob the convicts
An armed party sent against the natives
Some natives work
Partiality of the natives for bread
Dædalus sails to join Capt. Vancouver
Ration reduced
A church began
Punishment for selling spirits without a licence
A vessel launched
The Boddington arrives with convicts and provisions
The church opened
The settlers sell corn to government
Britannia and Francis sail for Dusky Bay
The Sugar-cane arrives with provisions and convicts
A convict executed for mutiny
A mill invented
Twenty-three convicts emancipated
A murder attempted
Convicts abscond to the woods
A robbery committed in the hospital
Two boys killed by lightening
The Fairy arrives from Boston
The Francis arrives from Dusky Bay
The first wheat of the country issued
The Governor buys wheat for the settlers
The errors of ignorance
A boat lost in a storm
Spirits preferred to every thing
Encrease of Sydney
The natives rob the settlers
Passage boats established
Mortality during the year
A murder
The Francis sails for Norfolk Island
Stock of provisions
Kangaroo's shot
Punishment for receiving stolen property
Little corn offered to government
The reasons
The consequence of gaming
The Francis returns
Dispatches received from Governor King
New Zealanders taken home
Particular account of the flax manufactory
Ten soldiers tried for mutiny
Account of the mutiny
A militia embodied
The detachment disarmed
The mutineers selected
The natives troublesome
Labour feared more than death
Provisions grow short
A shark caught
Candles a great luxury
The William arrives with provisions
The Arthur ditto, with ditto
The full ration delivered
The love of gaming
A robbery
The Dædalus returns
Watchmen appointed to keep off the natives
The head of a native brought in
The Indispensable arrives from England
The full ration
Grain bought by government
The Britannia returns
Account of her voyage
—————— cargo
The Speedy arrives
The Halcyon ditto
State of the colony
The Hope arrives
Two ships sail
The Fancy arrives
Cells for solitary confinement
The Francis returns
Intelligence from Norfolk Island
Bills refused acceptance
The Britannia sails again to the Cape of Good Hope for live-stock
The Resolution arrives from England
—— Salamander ditto
John Hunter, Esq. appointed Governor
Capt. Phillip rewarded
Some Irish convicts seize a boat
Land in Botany Bay, and are re-taken
A fire at Paramatta
The natives attempt a murder
————— rob several settlers
————— are pursued
Eight of them killed
The Dædalus sails for Norfolk Island
The Fancy sails
A house-breaker caught, tried, and executed
A murder
The murderer executed
Dreadful cruelty to a native boy
The Surprize arrives from England
The Dædalus returns from Norfolk Island
Settlers give up their farms
The settlers enter into the New South Wales corps
The Lieut. Governor quits the colony
Convicts released
Farms alloted
A farm sold by auction
The Experiment arrives
The government divolves on Capt. Paterson
The mortality of 1794
Ground prepared for wheat
Industry of several natives
Heavy rains
Damage sustained
The natives threaten to murder three settlers
Information given by Wilson
An account of Wilson
Search after convicts
One shot
The natives decide some affairs of honour
The Francis arrives from Port Stephens
An account of her voyage
The Britannia returns from the Cape of Good Hope with live-stock
The allowance of provisions reduced
The Britannia hired to proceed to India
Pork bought by the settlers and issued
The Francis returns from the Hawkesbury
Open war between the natives and settlers
Soldiers distributed about the Hawkesbury
The Endeavour arrives from Bombay
Several robberies
A dog sold for kangaroo
The Providence arrives
Curious narrative of four runaway convicts
Provisions sent from Norfolk Island to Sydney
The Supply and Reliance arrive
Capt. Paterson pardons those in confinement
Governor Hunter arrives
——————— orders a return of inhabitants and live-stock to be made
The cultivation of Indian corn advised
Governor Hunter accepts the Bills for grain from Norfolk Island
The Endeavour and Fancy sail for India
Nearly one hundred convicts leave the colony
Civil magistrates substitute military ones
The Young William arrives
Ration improved.
The Providence sails for Nootka Sound
—— Supply ————— Norfolk Island
—— Young William —— Canton
—— Sovereign arrives from England
Two men convicted of house-breaking
One hung and one pardoned
A printing press first used in the country
The Supply returns from Norfolk Island
Information from that settlement
The natives have several contests with each other
Information received of the cattle lost in 1788
The Governor goes in search of them
—————— sees them
A bull killed
Public labour
Bennillong's conduct after his return from England
The conduct of his wife
Bennillong beats his rival
————— gives up his wife
The natives again commit outrages
Several killed, wounded, and taken
Cæsar absconds to the woods
——— lives by plunder
——— does a good action
Collins the native, wounded
——— could not be cured at the hospital
——— trusts to nature and is cured
Strong attachment of his wife
The Sovereign sails for Bengal
An attempt to steal provisions
A shower of ice with its effects
The sufferers relieved
Mortality during 1795


The Arthur arrives from Calcutta
The Surprize returns from Norfolk Island
Governor King's ill-health
A play-house opened at Sydney
First performance
Regulations respecting the theatre
Evil consequences resulting from it
Curious prologue
One evil thought a plea for another
Stills detected and destroyed
An attempt made to discover the number of arms
Regulations respecting them
Runaway convicts said to be armed
Settlers suspected to be concerned with them
The Ceres arrives
—— Experiment ditto
—— Otter ditto
The natives troublesome
The Reliance sails
A soldier drowned
A play performed for the benefit of his family
The Marquis Cornwallis arrives
Plan for taking the ship
News arrives respecting the Cape of Good Hope
Cæsar shot
The temptation
—— Otter sails
Muir and others escape
The Abigal arrives
Regulation to prevent escapes
The natives again troublesome
The Governor's order in consequence
Killing a native to be considered as murder
Natives rob the settlers
Wilson and Knight
——————— lead on the natives to plunder
A shop opened
Counterfeit money
Forged notes
The shrubs, &c. on fire
The powder removed
The Reliance returns
A bad harvest
Spirits still vended
The Supply sails
Bennillong and Cole-be's wife
————— wounded
Licences granted to sell spirits
The Supply returns
—— Susan arrives
—— Indispensable ditto
Four tried for forgery
Five for stealing
The Britannia arrives
An attempt to recruit the Bengal army
Several robberies
A runaway secured
A hut pulled down
Crops pledged
An inquiry
The reward of exertions
A robbery
An excursion
A range of mountains
The Governor again visits the wild cattle
Coal brought from Port Stephens
A court-house erected
A timber carriage
A seaman shot
Another man shot
Murderers taken
Regulations for the settlers, &c.
Run-a-ways punished
Encrease of live-stock
One hundred goats sold
Consequent order
A register of boats
Convicts treated kindly by the natives
A white woman seen among the natives
The Francis returns
A convict executed at Norfolk Island
Convicts time mis-spent
Proposed remedy
Criminal court assembled
A murderer hung
The Susan sails
A civil court held
The Grand Turk arrives
— Supply sails
Land in cultivation
Provisions and grain
Value of live-stock
———— provisions
———— groceries
———— wine and spirits
———— India goods
———— English goods
———— labour
The Francis, Reliance, and Britannia, sail
Capt. Collins leaves the colony
Governor Hunter leaves Norfolk Island
[2nd Edition: Improvements under Governor Macquarrie]


Officers and inhabitants
Ground cleared
The produce of the harvest
Live-stock on the Island
———— received
The effects of non-payment of the corn bills
Salting pork
Goats prolific
A strong wharf made
A store-house built
A water mill
Two wind mills
Settlers dwellings
The satisfaction of endeavouring to do well
Price of labour
———— provisions
———— scarce articles
Depravity of the convicts
A log prison began
Fraud respecting prisoners
Convicts work on Sunday
One hundred convicts recovered
A hat found
— man's body found
— woman murdered
Houses numbered
Watchmen appointed
Bennillong returns to his savage state
Applies for assistance
The Governor protects him
Effects of comfort
The Prince of Wales arrives
—— Francis arrives
—— Sylph ditto
A criminal court held
Three men executed
One hung in chains
Its effect on the natives
The Prince of Wales sails
The Sylph ditto
Two convicts discovered
A native child brought to the settlement
—————— murdered by the natives
A stack of wheat burnt
The effects of self interest
A convict attorney transported
George's river explored
A windmill and granary finished
Price for labour
Passports to be taken for travelling
Outrages committed by the natives
A log-prison completed
Granaries full
An excursion
A discovery
A criminal court held
A high wind and its effects
The natives again troublesome
————— particularly cruel
A proclamation to run-a-ways
A terror held out to the natives
The Supply arrives
Interesting narrative of the loss of the Sydney Cove
The Britannia arrives
Want of canvas
The Ganges arrives
The Governor visits Paramatta, &c.
Portland Place marked out
Two run-a-ways recovered
The Reliance arrives
Two boys attempt joining the natives
An assessment to build a gaol
The Francis arrives from the wreck of the Sydney Cove
————— sails for Norfolk Island
————— 's crew mutiny
Coals discovered
A contest among the natives
Bennillong accused of murder
A piratical misfortune
The Deptford arrives
An excursion to the wild cattle
A boat seized
The Reliance leaky
—— Supply condemned
A caution respecting boats
— criminal court held
Three men stand in the pillory
Another contest between the natives
Natives turn pirates
A bridge erected
Wheat scarce
A plan to seize a boat discovered
The Governor addresses the convicts
—————— sends military to guard them
Wilson surrenders himself
——— 's account of ——
A robbery
The Deptford sails
A serious combat among the natives
Bennillong loses his wife
A stack of wheat burnt
Mischief done by dogs
Three schools established
A drinking match
A soldier murdered
A settler fined for disobedience of orders
A visit to the wreck of the Sydney Cove
A fire at Sydney
Curious account of a plan for escape formed
by some Irish Convicts
Narrative of some pirates
Fifty skeletons found
The Francis returns


Cole-be attacked
The Governor again visits Paramatta
An Irish convict brought in
His story
A clock put up
The Francis sails
The military go in pursuit of some run-a-way convicts
Narrative of an attempt to discover a road to China
A general muster
Redress of grievances
The maize ripe
Depredations committed by the natives
Murder ditto
Mr. Bass returns from an excursion
Seven men found
A native esteemed musquet proof
A civil court held
State of the settlers affairs
The Francis returns
An excursion to a salt hill
Wild cattle seen
More run-a-ways heard of
Destruction of timber
Distress for naval stores
A criminal court held
Executions and confessions
Two mares stole and the thieves killed by the natives
More salt hills discovered
The Governor relieves the settlers
Consequent orders
A prophetess
The detection
More run-a-ways recovered
The Nautilus arrives
Information respecting the missionaries at Otaheite
The Barwell arrives
—— Jane Shore lost
Instructions from England
The Reliance and Francis sail for Norfolk Island
An order from the Governor
The natives troublesome
Missionaries become settlers
The Hunter arrives
The Cornwell and other vessels arrive
The battery improved
—— Britannia arrives from England
—— Reliance and Francis arrive from Norfolk Island
A fraternal society at Norfolk Island
A civil court held
Order respecting Sunday
The Governor appoints Mr. Bass and Lieut. Flinders to make a
   voyage of discovery
The powder removed on board the Supply
The natives
—— Barwell sails for China
The Hunter sails
A church burnt


Several vessels sail
Notice from the Governor
A fire
The Governor visits the Hawkesbury
The Marquis Cornwallis arrives
Two vessels arrive
—— churches began
Criminal court held
The natives
Effects of bad company
Female convicts
The effects of time
A new battery
The Cornwallis sails
—— harvest compleated
—— Irish convicts
—— Francis sails
Several arrivals
Three extraordinary deaths
An election
The consequences of heat
Live-stock and land in cultivation
Certificates granted
The country on fire
Mr. Bass and Lieut. Flinders return from the voyage of discovery
[2nd Edition: Additional details of Bass and Flinders's voyage]


A robbery
The Governor visits Paramatta
Information from Norfolk Island
A criminal court held
An execution
A gang of thieves detected
The goal at Sydney burnt
A missionary's house robbed
Stills detected
The settlers want grain for seed
A stone goal began
Rain and its effects
The Rebecca arrives
—— Nautilus chartered
—— Britannia, whaler, returns
A criminal court held
— civil court ditto
The criminal court again meet
Effects of intoxication
A grub worm
Hacking goes to Hunter's river
The Nautilus returns
A Spanish prize
A vice admiralty court held
The Norfolk returns
Bad harvest at Norfolk Island
The Buffalo arrives
The natives
A criminal court held
A murderer executed
A highway robbery
[2nd Edition: Fate of the Venus]
A reduction
Information for convicts
Weather and the consequences
The Albion arrives from England
A missionary murdered
The cause
Murderers executed
An order
——— respecting women
An account taken of inhabitants, stock, and land in cultivation
The Hillsborough arrives
Regulations to forward the stone prison
The Governor takes an excursion
The Norfolk arrives with Lieut. Flinders
An account of his voyage


A criminal court held
Regulations to prevent impositions on Government
Defence of the country encreased
A work thrown up on Garden Island
The Resource arrives
—————— refreshes her crew
—————— takes away several seamen
The Buffalo sails for the Cape
The Governor visits the wild cattle
—————— sees a small herd of cattle
A calf killed
The Governor returns
The Eliza comes in from sea
An order respecting convicts, &c. endeavouring to escape
The order neglected
The Spanish prize bought
A criminal court held
A woman convicted of forgery
The Hunter sails
The Speedy arrives
Provisions received
The full ration issued
Lieut. Governor King arrives
The Buffalo arrives
Effects of spirits
Neglect of the settlers
Interference of the Governor
Seditious meeting among the Irish convicts
A general search
Pikes said to have been made
A Catholic priest implicated
A proclamation issued
A letter from the Governor of India
A proposition to send convicts from India to New South Wales
Regulation respecting vagrants
Irish pork received by the Commissary
A criminal court held
The Hunter returns from Norfolk Island
————— re-chartered
The Belle Sauvage arrives
A Proclamation in consequence
Three taken, tried, and executed
The Hunter sails
Convicts transported to Norfolk Island
Steps taken towards finishing the gaol
A general muster
The Buffalo prepares to return to England
Live-stock sold
The Martha returns
The Martha driven in reef
Certificates granted
An officer sent to the Hawkesbury
The Albion goes into Broken Bay
A daring attempt to land spirits
Neglect of religion
An order in consequence
Wilson killed by the natives
Sedition of the Irish rebels transported to New South Wales
Two Volunteer Associations formed
The John Jay arrives
The Buffalo ready for sea
The Governor determines to return to England
—————— reviews the volunteers
—————— takes leave of them
—————— embarks
Land in cultivation
[2nd Edition: State of the colony in 1809]
The Buffalo sails
State of Norfolk Island
——— Phillip Island
Black Swan sent to England
Account of ground granted and let
List of vessels which arrives at Port Jackson
Account of Works
[2nd Edition: Later works, away from Sydney]
The Register of convicts detected to have been altered
Expense of the goal
Blankets made
Linnen made
Vessels with spirits sent back to Bengal
Copper coin received
Table of Specie
Ships arrive on speculation
Account of their cargoes
Plan for murdering the officers at Norfolk Island detected
A good landing place discovered at Anson's Bay




Ornithorhynchus Paradoxus
The Tassoa Tafa or Tapha
—— Tafa
Wha Tapoau Roo
The Dog or Dingo
—— Poto Roo
—— Hopoona Roo
—— Kangaroo
[2nd Edition: The Horse]


The Bird of Paradise
—— White Fulica
—— Blue Bellied Parrot
—— Black or Banksian Cockatoo
—— Fulliginous Peteril
—— White Vented Crow
—— White Hawk
—— Carthwary
—— Crested Goat-sucker
—— Anomalous Hornbill
—— Turban Parrot
—— Black Swan
—— Yellow eared Fly-catcher
        Mountain Eagle
—— Wattled Bee-eater
—— Golden-winged Pigeon
—— Port-Jackson Thrush
—— Emu
—— New Holland Creeper
—— Knob Fronted Bee-eater
—— Great Brown King's Fisher
—— Pennation Parrot
—— Motacilla Warbler
—— Green Parroquet
—— Red Shouldered Parroquet
—— Southern Motacilla
—— Sacred King's Fisher
—— Crested White Cockatoo


The Blue Snake
—— Black and White Snake
—— Yellow Snake
—— Brown and Yellow Snake


The Variegated Lizard
—— Broad tailed Lizard
—— Scincord or Scinc-formed Lizard
—— Muricated Lizard
—— Ribboned Lizard


The Blue Frog
—— White jointed Spider


The Compretted[?] Sparus
—— Cyprinaceous Latinus
—— Doubtful Lophius
—— Batistes Granulata
—— Long Spined Cheætodon
—— Southern Collus
—— Fasciated Mullet


The Banksia Serrata
————— Pyriformis
————— Gibbosa
The Peppermint Tree
The Tea Tree
—— Sweet Tea Plant
—— Red Gum Tree
—— Yellow Resin Tree
[2nd Edition: Eulogy of Col. David Collins]


Continuation of the History [beyond 1800]
A vessel arrives from Cape Verde Islands
———— sails for Otaheite
State of the wild cattle
The Lady Nelson arrives
A fire
The Harbinger bought by the Governor
The Supply fitted up as a Hulk
Dreadful sufferings of several persons on Tate's Island
[2nd Edition: Destruction of the ship Boyd]


General view of the country

[2nd Edition: SUPPLEMENT]

[The following contents are not in the 2nd Edition scan, and have been interpolated]

[Natives no longer formidable
[Authority of Pomarre of Taheite
[Affairs of the missionaries
[M Peron's views of the colony
[Later impressions of Van Diemen's Land
[Discoveries by the Nautilus
[Description of Amalgan
[Voyage to Ulitea and Mangea
[Voyage to Prince of Wales's Island
[Description of Simboo, New Ireland, &c.
[Remarkable Persons: Captain Bligh
[Remarkable Persons: Lieutenant Riou
[Remarkable Persons: Messrs. Muir, Margarot, Skirving, and Palmer]

[2nd Edition: INDEX]


[Prints in 1st Edition not available]

A View on entering Sydney, as a Frontispiece. [not available]
[2nd Edition: Town & Cove of Sydney to face the Title]
A Vignette, including the Black Swan [on title page].
A Male & Female Native.
Manhood, or knocking out the Tooth.
[2nd Edition: A Native Family]
Burning the Dead.
The Native Dog.
The Kangaroo.
[2nd Edition: Spotted Hyena and Cameleopard; not included]
The Bird of Paradise.
The Black Cockatoo.
The Hornbill
The Mountain Eagle.
The Emu.
The Blue Snake.
The Black and White Snake.


The Banksia Serrata.
————— Pyriformis.
The Peppermint Tree.
The Tea Tree.
The Gum Tree.


A View of the New Church at Paramatta, cut in wood.





THE Publisher of Barrington's History of New South Wales, takes the liberty of returning his sincere thanks to the Public for the very liberal patronage they have kindly shewn this publication, on which he is conscious that neither pains or expense has been spared, to execute it in a style which must be highly satisfactory.

The Publisher at the same time requests the attention of the Public to a Republication, much enlarged, of Barrington's Voyage to New South Wales, with his Life, Trials, Speeches, &c. &c. which will be compleated in Twelve Numbers, at One Shilling each, and be enriched with Views, Map, &c. elegantly coloured, and a fine Portrait of the Author.

The History of New South Wales, which the Public have honoured with such general approbation, is a work entirely original, having never before been printed; but the Voyage, &c. which constitutes the intended Work, is a new edition of Barrington's celebrated Voyage, of which several editions have been sold: to which are made many very considerable corrections and improvements. The following very flattering account of this Work, when it was first published, appeared in the Monthly Review:

"This production certainly carries with it a sufficiency of internal evidence, that it is really the performance of that ingenious adventurer."

Vide Monthly Review.







Price 14s. 6d. in Boards

Printed by W. Flint, Old Bailey, London.





       ONE of the most humble of your subjects, presumes to lay at your feet, the History of New South Wales, and your Majesty's Colony on that Island. Tempted by that eminent. Philanthropy, with which, your Majesty is so peculiarly endowed, and the knowledge of which, in the most distant parts of the World, has more gloriously exalted your illustrious Name, in the hearts of all good Men, than, even your truly powerful Fleets and Armies, have enrolled it in the History of Great Sovereigns.

If your Majesty should deign to look on this Production, you will have the satisfaction of finding, that the life you have so well spent, in promoting the Comforts and Happiness of the many Millions committed to your Care, is even of such an Heavenly nature, as in many cases to correct, and often reform, the most vicious of those, who have been found improper persons, to remain in those kingdoms, which are blessed with your immediate presence.

That just knowledge of Mankind, your Majesty has so often shown, in the appointment of your Officers, has seldom been more beneficially felt, than in those you have from time to time chosen for New South Wales, who have in all cases, been, Gentlemen particularly calculated to represent your Person, and to fulfil your intentions, as they have possessed Learning, Prudence, Justice, and Mercy.

That your Majesty, may long continue Vice-Regent on Earth, and that you may enjoy all those blessings, your many Virtues so much merit, is the ardent prayer of,

Your Majesty's

Most Humble and devoted Subject

and Servant,        



TO trace from the ORIGIN, the HISTORY of any COUNTRY, but more particularly the one of so promising an aspect of future importance as that of NEW SOUTH WALES is an undertaking very interesting, but not often to be accomplished with that degree of certainty, which precludes every idea, of SPECULATIVE FICTION, though when capable of being effected, it forms a valuable acquisition to the WORLD. In this situation stands NEW SOUTH WALES. CIRCUMNAVIGATORS have frequented it, and the PUBLIC have been favoured with the Accounts of Individuals who have resided there, but no prior attempt has been made to produce a COMPLETE HISTORY of the COUNTRY itself, from its DISCOVERY, and an Account of its INHABITANTS, their CUSTOMS, and MANNERS, accompanied with, an Historical Detail, of the proceedings of the ENGLISH COLONY, from the FOUNDATION to its PRESENT STATE.

That such a WORK must prove acceptable to the World in general, but particularly to his fellow Countrymen, the Author is well aware; and as his residence in the Country, enables him to add considerably to the vast fund of knowledge already ascertained, he trusts, that his endeavour to furnish A COMPLETE HISTORY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, will meet with general approbation. If in the perusal of this Work, the refined mind finds but a few moments pleasure, in following the interesting Narratives respecting the Natives or Colonists; or if he is beguiled of one tear of sensibility, in commisserating the sorrows or sufferings, of his INNOCENT or GUILTY fellow creatures, the end of the Author will be answered: for though, alas! he has formerly wandered in the paths of error, he trusts, that now he has felt the kind hand of PATRONIZING FAVOUR, he may be looked upon as a MAN ENDEAVOURING TO DO WELL, and hopes the promotion he has received, will be the means of enabling him to effect, some good in the remnant of his life, to COUNTER-BALANCE that proneness to evil which is ever, too attendant on the HUMAN CREATURE.




&c. &c. &c.

[THE rapid sale of the first Edition of this entertaining Work, and the frequent demands and enquiries since made relative to the same, together with the increasing importance of our Settlements in New South Wales, &c. having induced the publishers to reprint the present Edition, it has been thought proper to extend and enlarge the original plan by a Supplement, bringing down the History of the Settlement to the present Period of 1811.

With this view, it has been the care of the Editor, besides the information received from the spot, to collect his materials from every quarter which could possibly afford him any information: for this purpose, neither the labours of the missionary, the journals of the navigator, native or foreigner, nor the public documents relative to the colony, have been neglected. The merit of the arrangement and the execution of the task he must submit to the candour of his readers to decide upon.

It may be necessary to point out to the recollection of the public, that the History of New South Wales, written by George Barrington, after recording the events which distinguished that distant quarter of the world up to the year 1801, proceeded to relate the several voyages of discovery made from thence into the Southern Ocean, &c.; particularly those of Lieutenants Bass and Flinders, Captain Bampton of the Hormuzear, &c. &c.

But in the present Edition the reader will find the still more important extracts from the recent voyages of M. Labillardiere, who was sent in search of the unfortunate La Perouse; and that of M. Peron, who visited Sydney between 1800 and 1804, while upon a voyage of discovery made by order of the First Consul of France in the Southern Hemisphere. This enlightened naturalist's remarks, so creditable to the genius and exertions of the British nation, are sufficient to shew how astonishingly the colony has improved since Barrington published his History, Voyage, &c. &c. Almost every subsequent navigator, it will appear, has either found out some new islands, or something new in the manners of those already known.

Added to these, the present volume contains very interesting and entertaining accounts not only of Van Diemen's Land, upon which a British settlement has been since established, but likewise of New Caledonia, New Ireland, New Zealand, the Island of Simboo, Kennedy's Island, and Mangea; also of Otaheite, especially so far as Pomarre, the king of that and some adjacent places, has been connected with the missionaries, who are protected by Government in their attempts to introduce religion into the Friendly Islands.

To the Geographical department in this Edition we have added that of the Biography of some of the principal persons who have distinguished themselves in this newly discovered part of the world: among these, our readers may recollect Governor Colonel Collins, Captain Bligh of the Bounty, Lieutenant Riou of the Guardian, Messrs. Muir, Palmer, Skirving, and Margarot; and a young Englishman of the name of Bruce, lately married to a Princess of New Zealand. In fine, we presume that the present improved Edition contains "A comprehensive History of the Country itself, from its Discovery; the Customs and Manners of its Inhabitants; its Productions; and an Historical Detail of the Proceedings of the Colony from the Foundation to its present State."]


THE important advantages, which will continually result to the MOTHER COUNTRY, from NEW SOUTH WALES, renders it of sufficient consequence to make the slightest information sought after with anxious avidity— nor is it a matter of surprise.—The Climate is healthy, the Soil good, and the very Bowels of the Earth is fraught with inexhaustible treasures; it contains Iron, Copper, and Coals; while the exterior abounds in Wood, and the Fruits, which are various, reach the summit of perfection, these advantages will accelerate the growing importance of the Trade and Commercial Interest of the Country, while Bays and Harbours offer their sheltering protection to Ships.

Yet considerable as these advantages are, they are very far surpassed, by the School the English Colony forms, for the Correction of those unfortunate Human Beings, who, urged by various depraved motives, forfeit the protection of the Laws they have failed to observe; it is much to be lamented, that the number of Objects thus exiled is so great, while it is highly honourable in a Government to afford, even these outcasts, an opportunity of being serviceable to the state, and by their own good conduct, ultimately to themselves.—To the original Projector of the Colony, (Lord Sydney) the Public are under great obligations, and no doubt can now arise of its success.—Though it must prove painful to observe, that many sent to NEW SOUTH WALES, continued incorrigible—yet, on the contrary, some in the infancy of the Colony, will be found reforming rapidly, and the penitence of a FEW, cannot be but acceptable to Man, since in Heaven THERE IS JOY over even one SINNER that TRULY REPENTS.

In executing the History of NEW SOUTH WALES, I mail avail myself of all my materials, under a regular series of Chapters; first tracing the Discovery, then the Nature, Customs, and Manners of its original Inhabitants, from that I mall proceed to the Plan for settling the Colony, its Foundation and Progress to the present Time; and lastly, the Natural History of the Island, thus endeavouring to present a Complete Whole.






IN contemplating the origin, rise, and fall of nations, the mind is alternately filled with a mixture of sacred pain and pleasure. And while the "mind's eye", views the prosperous state of this infant country, it can hardly refrain, taking an excursive glance at the United States of America, and at the same time, find itself, obliged to acknowledge, that it must prove equally great, and ardently hope, it will prove abundantly more grateful, to the mother country.

The beautiful and fertile island of New South Wales, is ascertained to be the largest in the world, and formerly supposed to be part of that imaginary continent, called Terra Australis Incognita, lies between 10 degrees 30 minutes, and 43 degrees South latitude, and between 110 and 153 degrees 30 minutes East longitude, extending in all as much, as the whole continent of Europe, the Eastern coast running not less than 2000 miles in length from North-East to South-West. Its dimensions from East to West has not been so accurately ascertained.

The Dutch navigators who chiefly explored the Island, called those parts first discovered EENDRAGHT (Concord) Land, which was the name of the ship that first made the land, in 1616, 24 degrees and 25 degrees South. Two years afterwards, Zeachen discovered another part of the coast, in 15 degrees South, who named it ARNHEIM DIEMAN, though this was not the same part that received the name of Dieman's Land from Tasman, which is the extremity Southward, in latitude 43 degrees. Jan Van Edelsgave in 1619, has given his own name to a Southern part. Dampier coasted the Western parts in 1687, and again in 1699; from this period it was visited several times, by the Dutch and others, but nothing of any consequence transpired till in 1770, when the celebrated Captain Cook, explored the country, and called it NEW SOUTH WALES; however, the shortness of his stay precluded him from making any thing more than general observations, though Sir Joseph Banks, (then Mr. Banks,) discovered such an ample field for botanical research, that one part, in compliment to him, was called BOTANY BAY.—It will not be requisite to relate here, the remarks made by Captain Cook, as we shall incorporate his with all other information through the course of the work. Therefore shall now proceed in the proposed plan; first with

A Male & Female Native




BOTH the male and female natives, are not generally tall, and very few of either sex are well made, their limbs are long and thin, the exercise they take, and the poverty of their living, must be the cause, for the climate is particularly fine. But the limbs of those who reside in the woods, exceed in length those on the coast; for these suffer very great difficulties to procure food, while those on the coast draw from the never-failing ocean an ample supply of fish; but the inhabitants of the woods have to hunt and climb trees for animals and honey; enabled by the parental hand of providence they effect this, with little labour armed with a stone hatchet, they cut a notch in the tree big enough to place the ball of the great toe, which done, they take the first step, embracing the tree with one arm, and holding the hatchet in the other, in this situation the next notch is cut higher up, for the other foot to rest on, and proceeding thus they reach as high as they wish, which is often from eighty to an hundred feet. The features of the men are hard and disgusting, and the bone or reed they wear through the nose, added to the bushy hair of their heads and beards, render them almost horrible. The females have a small portion of that delicacy the more refined females of civilized nations justly boast; indeed, even the blush of shame has been seen, on the dark cheeks of a female native of New South Wales.

Their eyes are sunk in the head, and covered with thick eye-brows; their noses are flat, with very wide nostrils; their eyes are particularly good, and forms to them the greatest acquisition, for if short sighted, they could not avoid the spears which would otherwise wound, if not kill them. Their mouths are wide, and lips very thick; their teeth are in general white, sound, and even. Some of them have prominent jaws, and one of them, called old We-rahng, might with great ease pass for an Orang-Outang.

Both sexes rub fish-oil into their skins, which with the heat of their own bodies, produce a stench which by no means accords with the refined ideas of decency; but this is used to guard against the musquitoes some of which sting with severity; however in this, as in all other parts, some are more beastly than others, and it is by no means uncommon to see the entrails of fish frying upon their heads in the sun, till the oil runs over the face and body. This unguent is deemed by them of so much importance, that children even of two years old are taught the use of it. The natives of this country have various ornaments; with gum, they fasten to their hair, fish-bones, birds' feathers, slips of wood, dogs'-tails, and the teeth of the kangaroo; those on the South of Botany Bay, plat the hair with gum, like pieces of rope, and, occasionally, they daub themselves with red and white clay, the latter previous to dancing, and the former to battle. The forms of these imagined ornaments are governed by the taste of the person; and really, those who excel in this plastic art, look like spectres. Scars are by both sexes deemed highly ornamental, inasmuch, that they are proud to have wounds made with shells, and as they keep these open the flesh grows up on each side, and then suffering it to skin over, it forms the honourable badge of a wale or seam. This operation is generally performed when young, and though for many years they continue full, in the decline of life they become nearly invisible. The hole, which is bored through the nose, between the age of twelve and fifteen, is only used on particular occasions to put the reed or bone in; this ceremony is generally confined to the male, though there are instances of the females undergoing the same mutilation. The women suffer another operation when infants, which is the loss of two joints of the little finger on the left hand, this is effected by a hair being tied round the joint, which stops the circulation, when the part drops off in consequence of mortification; very few indeed escape this loss, and those few who do, are treated with contempt.

Manhood, or knocking out the Tooth

The men too suffer a privation, most of them lose the right front tooth, which operation is attended with numerous ceremonies. The principals who perform it, come from Cam-mer-ray, armed with shields, clubs, and throwing sticks, painted in the form of their tribe; the ground selected for the business is previously cleared in an oval figure of about 30 feet by 20, and this mystic spot is called Yoo-lahng: the operators arrived, take their position at one end of it, and at the other end the boys, generally to the number of from 14 to 20, and of various ages, who are brought by their friends or relations to undergo the ceremony, which initiates them into the liberties of men, as soon as they are capable of performing the duties. The ceremony then begins, from the opposite end of the Yoo-lahng, the armed party advance, singing and clattering their shields and spears, and with their feet kicking up dust enough to hide and choak every body around them; on nearly reaching the children, one of the armed men steps forward, and seizing a lad returns to his party, who hail him by a shout, showing at the same time, a determination to keep and protect the victim; in this way the whole are taken and seated on the opposite end of the Yoo-lahng, each with his legs crossed under him, holding down his head and clasping his hands. Miserable as this situation must be, it is not to be altered during the night, and till all the ceremony concludes, no refreshment is to be given them.—As the natives are well aware, that the knocking out the tooth is attended with considerable pain, the performers of the mystic rites have cunning enough to impress on the minds of those about to suffer, that on their being delivered of a bone, for which farce they conceal one in a girdle, that the operation will be effected with a proportionate degree of ease, as they surfer the greater degree of pain. Thus one falls on the ground, and draws himself into every form that ideal pain can invent, and while in this state, some dance, some sing, and some beat him, till he produces the wonderful bone that is to perform the operation with little or no pain. This closes the first act of the farce, and with it generally closes the day.

Towards sunrise the next morning, the party advance into the Yoo-lahng, shouting, and running three times round it.

The operators now parade round the Yoo-lahng, on their hands and feet like dogs, with a wooden sword in the girdle, which from the position it takes behind, serves to represent the tail; this is meant to endow them with the good qualities of that animal. The next ceremony is, one brings into the circle a kangaroo made of grass, and a second a load of brush-wood, and it is not unusual for him to have some in his nose. These are laid at the feet of the young men, and the bearers retire. By this form they are supposed to have the power of killing the animal given them, and the brush-wood is the retreat of the kangaroo.—The following scene is to shew them one of the exercises, hunting the kangaroo; for this purpose they leave the boys some time, and taking off the sword, or dog's-tail, they fasten some long grass to the girdles, and approach the circle as a herd of kangaroos, jumping along to the music of a shield, beat with a club. On reaching the Yoo-lahng, they pass the boys, then throwing away the grass tails, each takes up a boy and carries him off to the next scene, which is opened by several laying on the ground. The boys are then made to stand together; at each end sits a man on the stump of a tree, with his arms extended: as the boys make towards these, the men begin to stare and loll out their tongues; the boys are now led over the men, who then make a noise like thunder at a great distance. This is meant to make them brave men. The whole party then stop and the boys are set down. At the same time the performers, arm with spear and shield, the whole then poise and present their spears, at every third stroke which one gives his shield with a club, who stands in the centre. This is to shew the use of the spear to the youths. The scene that follows, is the ceremony of knocking out the tooth. A native sits on the grass, and a lad is seated on his shoulders. Now the mystic bone is produced to lance the gum, for which purpose it is made sharp; a stick is then with great ceremony cut at some distance from the end, and laid on a tree, then three aims are taken before it is struck, when the gum is cut, the operator puts the sharp point of the stick on the tooth, and with a stone in the other hand, after making three aims, he hits the stick, and out falls the tooth, generally as perfect as if drawn by a dentist. The lad is then taken away, that the gum may be healed by his friends, who dress him as he must for some time appear; which dress, consists of a girdle a wooden sword, and a ligature round his head; for that day, he must neither eat or speak, and his left hand must be kept up to his mouth.

It is deemed honourable to bear this operation without any sign of dissatisfaction, but for fear all should not have fortitude enough to bear it, the assistants make a great noise.

It is curious that the sufferer adds to his own name that of the person, on whose shoulders he sits to have the operation performed.

The ceremony being ended, and the youths all dressed alike, they sit down, and on a sudden given signal, they rise and rush into the town, which is just by, and drive everybody before them. These are now allowed to use the spear and shield, and accepted as men.

One good quality these people certainly possess, which is, that if a man and his wife, on any occasion quarrel, no one takes the least notice of it, each present minds his own business without casting even a look, at the wrangling pair. This is, perhaps, one of the best lessons these savages afford to civilized society; and in this instance, the children of nature shew more sense than those of refinement.

The men fish with a fish-gig, or spear, which they are very dexterous in the use of. The fish-gig is about twelve feet long, which they can lengthen by joints, according to the depth of the water. At the end they have two, three, or four barbed prongs, with a hook of a fish or other bone; sometimes, in fine weather, a man will lay across his canoe with his face in or near the water, and his fish-gig ready for darting: thus they watch for prey, and seldom miss their aim. The women are employed in the canoes with lines and hooks; the lines are made of the bark of trees, the hooks, like those used by the men, are made of bits of shells and birds talons, in one of their miserable canoes, which is seldom more than six inches from the surface of the water, washing the edge nearly in surf, which would frighten many seamen in a good vessel, the youngest child, if very small, lies in its mother's lap, from whence it cannot fall, though she is busy fishing, as she sits in the bottom of the canoe, with her knees up to her breast; thus, between her knees and body, the child is secure. The men also dive and procure fish from the rocks under water, where they often remain a considerable time; when rising, to the surface they throw on shore what they have gained, to a person who attends to dress it by broiling on a fire kept ready for the purpose.

They have a curious way of catching birds. A native, will in the heat of the sun lay down as if asleep, holding a bit of fish in his hand; the bird seeing the bait, seizes on the fish, and the native then catches it.

A Native Family

The spirit of retaliation, and ideas of honor they entertain, produces some singular circumstances, of which the following is one: A native of Botany Bay had been beaten by two natives of another tribe, one of these was in return to be beaten by him; for this purpose a party attended over night at the edge of a stream, near the settlement, to dance, which they continued doing till past twelve o'clock: the man who was to be beat danced with the rest, and then lay down among them. The next morning, while he was asleep at the foot of a tree, the one who was to beat him and another armed with spears and clubs, rushed on him; one threw his spear at him, but missed his object, when the other gave him two blows with his club. This awoke him, he got up, but being unarmed, he sorrowfully hung down his head; no more blows were given, and his enemy wiped the blood from his wounds with some grass: after this they were friends, for having satisfied his revenge he forgot the injury he formerly received.

The great trouble they have in obtaining fire makes them seldom be without it; when it so happens, a number seat themselves in a circle, and as it is a work of great labour each takes a turn when the other is tired. It is performed by fixing the cylindrical piece of wood in a hollow made in a plane, the round part is then twirled round swiftly between both the hands, sliding them up and down, and thus it goes round till the wished-for fire is produced.

The men often singe the beard, which is deemed one of the most painful operations they can undergo.

These people, whose natural capacity so little can be urged in favour of, display in some cases extraordinary ingenuity, for various figures have been discovered, cut on the surface of large stones, representing themselves in different attitudes, their canoes, fish, and animals; and when that rudeness of the instruments, they must necessarily have used is considered, they exhibit perhaps, generally speaking, as strong likenesses as many portraits painted by our own artists in England.

The natives had no conception of boiling water originally, for when the crew of a boat were boiling some fish, a native, while our people were at a little distance, put his hand in to get some fish, and was of course scalded, and much astonished.

Both the male and female natives are particularly filthy in their food, indeed they care not what they devour, even the vermin from the head and maggots from trees they deem a great relish; and not content with what may come in their way by chance, they throw pieces of wood at the end of a line into the water to catch worms, maggots, and other vermin.

Though a trivial offence in their ideas justifies the murder of each other, they highly reprobate the crime, when committed without what they esteem a just cause, and the relations of the slain seek redress by retaliation.

The colour of the natives, is by no means uniform, some are of a copper colour, while others are perfectly black, but so filthy are they in their persons that their appearance is generally that of dirty black; when first born the skin is of a red hue, which in a few weeks turns to the colour of the parents, and then it never changes again.


THOSE who repose on the soft pillow of ease will doubtless pity the situation of these savages, to the regular-built house, the protecting door, and the refreshing bed they are equally strangers. The miserable huts in which these people exist are made of the barks of trees, placed with both ends on the ground. Those near the coast are larger than those in the woods, which are generally formed only of one bark, and shelter one person, while the large ones hold five or six. At the mouth of each dwelling is, in most cases a nest of insects, drawn together by the bones and remnants of their food, and close to the hut is the fire which renders it smokey. Accidents by fire are frequent, many burn their toes and legs while asleep, and so very difficult are they to awaken, that a child is often seriously burnt while sleeping in the arms of the mother. Excavations in the rocks, also serve them for dwellings, which affords them protection, from both wind and rain; in these caves they mix without discrimination, and if undisturbed enjoy the comforts of sleep.

These people certainly, have fewer ideas of building any place to shelter them from the weather than any savages ever discovered, for those who build the bark huts, are very few compared to the whole. Generally speaking, they prefer the ready made habitations they find in the rocks, which perfectly accords with the roving manner in which they live, for they never stay long in one situation, and as they travel in tribes together, even making the bark huts would engage them more time than they would be happy on one spot.


AMONG the natives of this country, neither the midwife, or man-mid wife, would find any employ, for females receive no assistance, and women only are suffered to be present, as the children are suffered to come into the world by the efforts of nature, and it is by no means uncommon to see the woman a few hours after her delivery walking about as usual. The new born infant is carried about a short time by the mother on a piece of bark, till it acquires strength enough to set on her shoulders with its legs round her neck, and lay hold of her hair to keep itself up. The children are named after some fish, bird, or beast. At an early age they have the ornaments of the hair added to them, as well as those of clay on the skin.


THE sports of the native children are miniature exhibitions of the exercisers of men, from an early age they practise the throwing the spear and defending themselves from it; and almost from eight years old till they realize the scene, they amuse themselves with stealing the females, as their fathers have formerly their mothers, and treating them little better. These are the sports of the youths; but they are employed assisting in fishing and the chase at an early age.

Children feel themselves capable of receiving an insult, for even if at play a blow or push of greater force than seems requisite is given, they return one of the same kind with an equal spirit of retaliation as the men. The children have a talent for mimicry, in which they take great delight; the air of a soldier, the importance of an officer, the skulking way of lazy convicts, indeed every thing that passes they mimic with great exactness, and if they succeed in endeavouring to please, and draw forth the smile of approbation, they laugh themselves immoderately.


LAVATER himself would undoubtedly have been at a loss to assign, any general national character in a case like the present, for the dispositions of these people are paradoxical; they are brutal and generous, selfish and liberal, revengeful and forgiving, jealous and unsuspecting, courageous and cowardly, open and cunning; with all these powerful oppositions it is hard to give any general idea of national character, at least any of a favourable kind. Their partiality to revenge by murder, must ever be detestable to refined nations, as well as the cruel manner in which men behave to the women; yet they have constancy to endure pain, and courage to fight either singly or in the field. There is little reason to suspect they were honest before we came among them, or if they were, they (like too many others, when opportunity offers) soon became, expert thieves.

No strangers to falsehood and its effects on the minds of others, they endeavour to impress all they say as truth, by earnestly wishing us to believe that all we hear from others is false. They are not insusceptible of friendship or of sorrow, but neither is lasting; even the love of themselves extends no further than the present instant, they know not of tomorrow. They eat and sleep, they awake and seek food, though it is not uncommon to make the female sit in their canoe to catch fish while they sleep: thus at once shewing their absolute power and indolence.

The kind submissive way in which they behave, on meeting any of our people armed, would make any stranger think himself among his friends, but if he meets the same people, when without arms, he is nearly sure of being killed.

They have some little knowledge of astronomy, but of the form of the earth they have none; and the sun they imagine returns by night from the journey of the day.

The respect they pay to old age, from whatever cause it may arise, is a credit to them, and they carry this to a great height if the object happens to be blind, for in that case nobody is suffered to stand before him, and when rowed in a canoe, the rower is obliged to sit behind him.

Taking them thus, "with all their imperfections on their heads", we have a right to presume that when equally enlightened, they may become equally possessed of those refined qualifications, which at present, render Europeans their superiors.


THE females at an early age wear a little apron, made from the skin of the opossum, or kangaroo cut into slips, and hanging a few inches from the waist; this they wear till they grow up and are taken by men, and then they are left off: this is truly savage. It is curious that those parents who think any clothing decent for their children, should afterwards suffer them to go in a state of nature by setting the example themselves.

The men and women seldom wear any thing on them, and though clothes have often been given them; they are always thrown away.

Some few who are in the habit of being much among us, do now tie a kind of bandage round the waist; but these are so few as by no means to entitle them to be considered as any thing more than a nation of nasty naked savages.


THAT happiness is obliged to result from property, is by no means true, for few savages have less to call their own, than those of New South Wales, and yet they are perfectly happy; this arises from only seeking what is requisite to satisfy nature, and any thing more they will not keep; thus the property these people possess are their canoes, spears, shields, clubs, hatchets, fish-gigs, and lines; but some have informed us of hereditary property which they have retained undisturbed. The Goat Island, (called by them Memel), close to Sydney Cove, was said to be the property of Bennillong's father; on our settling there he called it his, and took great pleasure in being there with his wife.


THE impossibility of giving any perfect idea of a savage language induces me to abandon such an attempt, but as many of the natives' words must of necessity be introduced, they will be explained as they occur.

The language certainly affords to the ear in many cases an agreeable harmony, and as they generally suit their "actions to their words", they are more intelligible than might be expected, it is however to be lamented, that in these endeavours to be understood, they too often lay aside "the modesty of Nature", and thus they disgust and please at the same instant.

The natives imitate any thing said by the English very correctly, indeed so much so, that they have even sung songs after our people, though on the contrary we do not find it an easy task to imitate them.


WEAPONS for offensive and defensive warfare, as well as for fishing and the chase, have at all times been found with savages.

Spears, throwing sticks, fish-gigs, shields, and clubs are their weapons.

Of the spear they have eight sorts, exclusive of fish-gigs, for each of which they have a separate name, differing only for the purpose of distinguishing the number of barbed points.

In the use of these, they are very expert, often hitting the object they aim at, from a distance of 50, 60, and 70 feet.

The throwing stick, is used in discharging the spear. This instrument is from 2 to 3 feet in length, with a shell on one end, and a hook on the other.

They have two sorts of shields, one made of bark and the other of solid wood.

Of clubs they have various sorts, some are very large and long, which strike with such violence, as often to fracture the skull, and always bring a woman to the ground.

The stone hatchet must by no means be forgot, as this has proved the most dreadful to our people. The stone which forms the head is fastened to the wooden handle with gum.

Their instruments are generally ornamented with carved work, executed in the best stile they are capable of, and painted with red and white clay in the same way, as they decorate their persons.

Burning the Dead


AMONG every class of human beings, death has a serious effect on the mind, and every nation, either civilized or savage, has a ceremony particularly solemn for the occasion; whether this arises from the knowledge of revealed religion with the enlightened, or from the finer feelings of a savage, who knows that he can enjoy no future comforts, with a person he may have been accustomed to live, it is equally entitled to our respect, for it has an almost equal effect on the mind, and I am confident, that the heart of a savage in New South Wales generally feels an anguish on such occasions that would do infinite credit to a polished European.

Those who die young, are consigned to the grave, but those who have passed the middle age are burnt.

Previous to the body being either buried or burnt, it is carried about in a canoe on mens' shoulders, preceded by others who carry tufts of grass in their hands; the head of the corpse is carried foremost, and when it passes any hut the deceased has been accustomed to frequent, a child is taken up in the arms of a man and presented towards the corpse as a mark of respect. When the body reaches the place of interment, it is deposited in a grave about six inches deep, strewed with grass and leaves; on laying the corpse in the grave great care is taken to place it so that the sun may look at it as he passes. The grave is then covered in, and boughs and grass laid on the top, and over that they lay a log of wood. Thus every rite performed, some of the men lay an injunction on the women to prevent their eating any fish or meat that day. During the whole ceremony, the name of the deceased is never mentioned, and the night after, two natives sit up to watch the grave.

And when the body is to be burnt, the ceremony is the same till it reaches the grave, in which is laid twigs and brush-wood, large logs being piled round it, about three feet high; some grass is spread over the pile, the body is then put on it, with its head to the North; logs of wood arc then placed over the whole, which is instantly set fire to and consumed. The next day the ashes are raked together, covered with mould, over which is placed the bark of a tree.

They have a truly horrid accompaniment to these ceremonies, when a mother leaves a young child, and no one can be found to nurse and suckle it, which is, for the father, or nearest relation, to place the child in the grave directly after the mother, and dashing a large stone on the infant, the grave is instantly covered up by the natives, and thus both are burnt together. To this cause may be partly assigned the great want of population among the natives. This cruel ceremony is however never performed if any nurse can be found, or any person will engage to become its father, though its real father is alive: a man thus agreeing to become a father to the child, in case of the mother's death, reminds me nearly of what we call godfathers, only with this truly essential difference; that the savage godfathers, as I shall call them, of New South Wales, really do their duty, while the European godfathers, like greater savages, let them, generally speaking, take their chance in the world.


THE natives live in a state of Nature and acknowledge one authority. They are divided into families, and the senior exacts compliance from the rest. This was soon discovered after our arrival, for when we met a family unknown to us the oldest advanced to speak to us, and to these old men they apply the name of (Be-anna) or father, by which name they called Governor Phillip, and all those, they saw our people pay obedience to. When any of these elders came among us, it was instantly wispered, with an eagerness which drew our attention, and impressed on our minds an idea that we beheld some one of consequence.

Each of the families into which the natives are divided, have a nominal place of residence though they seldom stay long there at one time, and from this is derived the tribes name.

The tribe of Cam-mer-ray, is the most powerful and numerous, obliging the others to do as they like; they are more robust than the others, and it is this tribe who are the operators in extracting the tooth, from the natives.

All great contests are decided, when these persons of the Cam-mer-ray tribe are present.

Yet all this respect, the other inhabitants pay to those of Cam-mer-ray, seems to arise from their vast superiority of numbers; and this is not the only part of the world where numbers have gained power over few; but seldom are they like the Cam-mer-ray tribe content, with the tribute of a single tooth from each of the vanquished.


MOST countries have a religion of some kind, but the inhabitants of New South Wales have naturally none; they have no object on their minds that impels them to good actions or deters them from bad; they have a confused idea of a future state, but it by no means affects their actions. Some think they go over the great water, meaning the sea, when they die, and others expect to go to the skies where they came from, and that in the shape of little children, in which shape they will reappear in this world at some future time. That they well know the difference between right and wrong, as far as concerns this world, is evident, for if any body does them an injury they exclaim wee-re (bad); but if any person does them a service bood-jer-re (good). This proves they not only understand a difference, but have words to express it.


IN all ages diseases have been the companions of mortals, and the natives of New South Wales have their share; most nations have their cures, and all attempt to cure the maladies by which they suffer. A pain in the belly, they cured formerly by breathing on the hand to warm it and applying it to the part affected, singing a suitable song to the occasion, and keeping the mouth near the affected part, frequently stopping to blow on it, and making a noise, after blowing, like the barking of a dog; but our settling there rendered this useless, as tincture of rhubarb saves this trouble.

In 1789, a disorder in appearance like the small-pox, raged with incredible violence. Some Gentlemen of the colony took a native to the beach to find his former companions, and so much, did his agony and expression affect them, that it will never be effaced from their minds; with an anxious eve he searched round every cove, no print of a human foot was to be seen on the sand; the caves in the rocks were now the tombs of the dead, and not one living soul was to be seen—all had flown—in the silent agony of grief he lifted up his hands, and then exclaimed, "all dead! all dead!" and in mournful sorrow again hung down his head, nor did he lift it up again during the excursion. This poor fellow at length suffered the fate of his companions, for on some of the natives being brought to the Colony, he caught the disease and died. With such violence did this disorder rage, that the country seemed desolate, and one whole tribe of natives were swept off except, three persons.

It is remarkable that though Sydney was full of children at that time, and they visited those natives that were ill, not one caught it.

Those on the coast have a disorder very much like the itch, sometimes it is very general; in 1791, it raged so much that many came to the colony in a shocking state, and every native seen, had it with more or less violence.

The venereal disease, there is every reason to imagine they were not ignorant of before they knew us, but if they were, our arrival will account for its appearance shortly after, though every care on the part of the Governor was taken to prevent it. However an intercourse between the people soon took place, a native, woman had a child by a white man; but perceiving the child incline more to white, than the colour of her other children, she held the little unfortunate over the fire in the smoke, rubbing dirt and oil over its body, to give it the wished-for hue.

When they have a pain in any part, they tie a ligature very tight round the part, and thus stopping the circulation of the blood, give ease to the part affected.


THAT these people should be superstitious must be naturally expected; they are certainly superior to brutes, and all those in the intermediate steps from ignorance to knowledge must ever be so, and perhaps there are many who value their own refined knowledge, that are not totally free from this weakness. The Cam-mer-ray car-rah-dy (priest) who performed the operation of producing the bone in the tooth-drawing ceremony, would alone establish the fact, but others as strong can be produced.

A native who had been wounded by a spear met with one of these conjurors before it was Well, who made him believe he had still the barb in his side; however to shew his vast power, he pretended to take out what was not there, and sent the poor fellow away satisfied with his great importance.

One of the female natives who lived in the Colony had been out and returned ill, though nothing seemed to be the matter with her; but she said one of the Cam-mer-ray women had made water in a path, she was obliged to come over, and this made her ill; however it had such an effect on her weak mind that she did not recover, though Mr. White kindly bled her in the arm; but the disease which superstition caused was overcome by the same weakness, which was effected by her being placed on the ground, and a string tied round her head, the other end of the line was taken by a girl, who rubbed her lips with it till they bled; this she spit into some water on one side of her, while the poor girl round whose head the string went, imagined; it came from her, conveyed by the string.

They never broil fish at night, because they think the wind will blow a contrary way to what they want it.

They will not whistle under a rock, having a tradition, that some of the natives did, while feasting under one, and it fell from a great height and crushed them to death.

After these it is hardly requisite to say, that they believe in spirits. An apparition, they say, advances slowly, with its hand in a line with its face, and seizes the person it intends to visit by the throat.

The repository of the dead, and even the darkness of the night are too powerful for their fears.

Those indeed who can encounter these seeming perils, are esteemed proper persons to become Car-rah-dys.

The shooting of a star, and thunder and lightning they fear much.



THOSE who delight in sentimental love tales, will probably be disgusted with the male natives of New South Wales, for their conduct to women renders them considerably inferior to the brute creation; indeed nothing but having promised to give a faithful account of all their customs, induces me to state what I now find become my duty.

Strangers to the finer passions, they seek only the gratification of their brutal desires, yet like other savages they have customs peculiar to themselves on these occasions. In obtaining a female partner the first step they take, romantic as it may seem, is to fix on some female of a tribe at enmity with their own, this done, the lover, as we must now esteem him, seeks to find his intended unprotected by her friends, when he steals upon the unsuspecting woman. The monster then stupefies her with blows, which he inflicts with his club, on her head, back, neck, and indeed every part of her body, then snatching up one of her arms, he drags her, streaming with blood from her wounds, through the woods, over stones, rocks, hills, and logs, with all the violence and determination of a savage, till he reaches his tribe, when a scene takes place with the relation of which, I shall neither stain my pages, or offend the reader. The woman thus violated becomes the wife of the ravisher, and is admitted into her husband's tribe.

The tribe of the female, by the favourite plan of retaliation, redress this outrage, but the female herself seems contented, and seldom, leaves her husband or his tribe for another.

The women are kept in the greatest subjection by the men. If a tribe is travelling and meets any of our people, the women are made to retire to a distance, from which they are not suffered to advance till ordered; and on any occasion the slightest offence given to the husband is punished with the blow of the club, which never fails to cause a stream of blood, and very often a fractured skull: yet this inhuman practice appears rather to strengthen the wife's attachment than weaken it, and the very wounds are shewn as marks of honour.

In some very few cases, the wives return this usage, and after such an engagement they live together the same as before. The analogy there is between savages and the lower classes of people in all countries, is here too obvious to escape attention.

The men do not confine themselves to one wife, but the women revenge this by retaliation, and often by murder.

That the females are not devoid of art, the following anecdote will form a pleasing illustration: A female fell in love with the great coat of the Governor, and used a variety of means to obtain it; she first danced, playing many antic tricks; this not effecting it, she attacked the Governor with tears, and this failing, she ceased and then became as merry as any around her.

Though chastity is not one of the virtues they boast, there are some few who seem ashamed to be naked before us; though when among the natives they are indifferent in this respect.

That even genuine love in all its native purity has been discovered among them, the reader will be convinced by the following little narrative, which happened in the neighbourhood of Paramatta, and I am well acquainted with the young man, who belonged to a tribe near Paramatta, he was about twenty three years old, had two sisters, one about twenty and the other only fourteen. One day when he returned from hunting the kangaroo, his sisters did not meet him as usual on his approach to the cave, so imagining they were gone to procure water or roots, he without going in, being fatigued, sat down at the foot of a tree to wait their return. The sun was now withdrawing itself, and the dark mantle of night with rapid strides began to cover the horizon; now the vivid lightning with its forked forms bespoke the impending storm; in a few moments the rain poured rapidly clown and drove my hero from the foot of the tree to his cave, but scarce had he reached it before another flash of lightning shewed to his distressed eyes the form of his youngest sister bleeding on the ground; troubled as he was before at the warring of the elements, his agony was now increased ten-fold; kneeling down he endeavoured to make her rise; but alas! she was incapable of hearing him, for she was senseless: discovering this he hastened to procure, a little water, and as he washed her face with it she returned to life.—"Oh! my dear brother, cried she, our sister is torn from us, and I narrowly escaped being murdered for trying to prevent it; the wretch after beating her with his club, caught up one arm to drag her out of our cave, and I laid hold of the other to detain her, but the instant the brute saw this, with one blow of his club he knocked me to the ground, where you have now found me." As she ended this narrative the tears run down her cheeks, and her brother could not refrain accompanying her, meditating revenge, and planning its execution; they passed the night in melancholy conversation, and soon as the returning sun enabled them, they sought together the tribe of the offender. After a journey quickened by haste to revenge, they reached the neighbourhood of the tribe they sought; when at a little distance, he saw the sister of the very savage who had stolen his sister, she was leaving her tribe to pick up some sticks for a fire; (this was indeed a fine opportunity for revenge) so making his sister hide herself, he flew to the young woman and lifted up his club to bring her to the ground, and thus satisfy his revenge. The victim trembled, yet knowing his power she stood with all the fortitude she could, lifting up her eyes they, came in contact with his, and such was the enchanting beauty of her form that he stood an instant motionless to gaze on it. The poor thing saw this, and dropped on her knees to implore his pity, but before she could speak, his revenge softened into love; he threw down his club, and clasping her in his arms vowed eternal constancy; his pity gained her love, thus each procured a mutual return. Then calling his sister, she would have executed her revenge, but for her brother; who told her she was now his wife. On my hero asking after his sister, his new wife said she was very ill but would soon be better; and she excused her brother because the means he had taken were the customary ones of procuring a wife: "but you", said she, "have more white heart, (meaning he was more like the English) you no beat me; me love you; you love me; me love your sisters; your sisters love me; my brother no good man." This artless address won both their hearts, and now all three live in one hut, which I enabled them to make comfortable, within half a mile of my own house. I have taught all three to read decently, and hope they will continue to cherish those seeds of virtue I have laboured to impress on their minds.

This little anecdote I have given as the young man related it to me; it affected me much, and perhaps I have lost much of the simplicity.

The females of New South Wales are in many cases found to be at the head of the quarrels, and in these they mix with the men and do their part in the battle, indeed on some settled contests the women begin the affray. It is to this fondness for masculine avocations, that must be attributed the many quarrels which continually happen among them.


TO carry into effect the sentences of Criminal Courts, which assigns to convicted guilt, a temporary or total exile from the country whose laws it violates, the English Government deemed New South Wales a proper spot to found a Colonial Establishment for the purpose.


In the year 1786, the Commissioners of the Navy contracted for a number of vessels to convey convicts to Botany Bay. The ships for the transports were properly fitted up, and the store ships had provisions for two years, and tools of every description put on board.

Capt. Arthur Phillip hoisted a pendant on board the Sirius of 20 guns, 520 tons burden, lying at Deptford, on the 24th of October, John Hunter Esq. was appointed as a Second Captain to her, for as Capt. Phillip was to hold the high office of Governor over the intended Colony, a Second Captain was requisite to command her in his absence. As the Sirius was going on particular service she was not confined in her establishment, having 2 captains, 3 lieutenants, a master, purser, surgeon and two mates, a boatswain, gunner, and a detachment of marines The Supply brig was commissioned as an armed tender, commanded by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball. The Sirius with this ship completed their equipment, and droped down from Deptford to Long Reach, on the 10th of December, and there took in powder, guns, and other stores. Some transports here joined them, and on the 30th of January, 1787, on the arrival of orders, they sailed for Spithead, but owing to foul weather did not reach it till the latter end of February. On the 5th of March the orders for embarkation arrived, and then to join the other ships at Mother-bank, after taking the convicts and troops on board. On the 7th of March, Capt. Phillip came to command his fleet, at the Mother-bank, wishing to lose no time as the wind now served. The signal for sailing was made on Thursday the 10th; some of the men wishing to be paid up to the time of their sailing, demurred to proceed, so that Captain Phillip ordered such as refused to be put on board the Hyæna frigate, and to have in exchange the same number of her crew, and as she was to accompany the fleet to a given distance, they might be re-exchanged. This obstacle being removed, and the crews of the Sirius and Supply having received the usual two months advance of wages, the men of war and some transports got under sail to drop clown to St. Helen's and proceed to sea, but were unable to pass through the needles till the next morning.

The following are the vessels names, their tonnage, and the number of persons they had on board destined for the Colony;

 Name.   Tons.   Males.   Females.   Children.   Total. 
——————— ——— ———— ———— ———— ———
Prince of Wales 334 35 50 85
Charlotte 346 134 20 154
Lady Penrhyn 338 7 101 108
Scarborough 418 240 240
Alexander 453 229 229
Friendship Snow     228 122 49 27 198
Store Ships
Fishbourne 378
Borrowdale 272
Golden Grove 331 1 2 3
——————— ——— ———— ———— ———— ———
Total 3098 768 222 27 1017
——————— ——— ———— ———— ———— ———

and the Sirius had on board the Major Commandant of the Marines, who was Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony, the Adjutant and Quarter-Master, the Judge-Advocate, Capt. Collins, and the Commissary; with 1 serjeant, 3 drummers, 7 privates, 4 women, and a few artificers.

All the transports as well as the ships of war, were stored in every part with provisions, implements of agriculture, clothing for the convicts, &c. &c.

To prevent any separation, Capt. Phillip established day and night signals, and he allowed the Masters, to suffer a number of convicts to come upon deck in the day time, for the preservation of their health. The Lady Penrhyn and the Charlotte proved heavy sailors, but to prevent a separation, the Sirius shortened sail every evening, and during the night carried a light in the main-top. On the 15th they found five persons were left behind, to supply which loss as many men came from the Hyæna. On the 16th they cleared the Channel. Four days had not expired from leaving the Channel, when a mutiny was discovered, by one of the convicts. Capt. Phillip ordered the two principles to be brought on board the Sirius, where they had two dozen lashes each. The Hyæna was now sent off with letters for England, but the five men lent for those left behind, chose rather to proceed with the fleet than return. On the 24th they made the latitude of Cape Ortugal. The Supply was now ordered to keep six miles a head in the day, and two during the night, as they expected to see land the next day, which proved the case, as early next morning the signal to that effect was made by her, and at noon they were by the rocks called the Deserters; and on the 31st off the Canary Islands, distant about three leagues from Madeira. On the 3d of June they saw the Island of Teneriffe ahead, and at seven in the evening the fleet came to an anchor in the road of Santa Cruz. While we lay here, one Powers, a convict, made his escape from the Alexander in a small boat; he was however retaken and kept in irons. Having finished getting provisions and water, on the 10th the fleet got under weigh, on the 15th they crossed the Tropic of Cancer with a steady wind. On the 14th of July the fleet crossed the Equator, in the 26th degree of East Longitude; and only two accidents happened in their passage to the Brazils, a seaman fell overboard and was drowned, and a female convict was killed by a boat falling off the booms. On the 2d of August the Coast of South America was in sight, and on the 4th they anchored within the Islands at the entrance of the harbour of Rio de Janeiro. The passage from Teneriffe, though a long one, was attended with no disease. During their stay here the convicts had an allowance of rice, oranges, and vegetables, and every care was taken to enable them to withstand the scurvy; and during the whole passage the Rev. Mr. Johnson performed duty every Sunday.

On Tuesday, the 4th of September, the Harbour-master took charge of the Sirius over the bar, from this to Friday, the 14th, the wind blew hard, when it became calm till the 16th, and then it again sprung up, but by the Lady Penrhyn and other transports inattention to signals we could not make sail in time. On the 19th a convict was drowned by falling overboard. On the 4th of October thirty convicts were reported to be ill, some of them dangerously. Four seamen from the Alexander, were sent on board the Sirius, for having entered into a combination to release some of the convicts, while the ship should be at the Cape of Good Hope. On the 13th, the fleet came to anchor in Table Bay; on the 15th Governor Phillip, and the principal Officers went on shore, to pay their respects to the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, and to request those stores, seeds, &c. requisite. While the fleet lay here the carpenters prepared as many stalls for the reception of cattle as room could be found for, and on the 8th of November, 3 mares, 3 colts, 1 stallion, 7 cows, 1 bull, 1 bull-calf, with a good assortment of sows, boars, goats, ewes, and rams, &c. were received on board the various ships as live-stock for the Colony. During this long stay the whole fleet had the benefit of fresh provisions and vegetables. Every article wanted being now procured, on the 12th, by signal, they all weighed anchor.


For some time after they left the Cape the wind blew fresh. Capt. Phillip on the 16th made known his intention of leaving the fleet, and going forward in the Supply, that he might arrive in time to fix on, and clear, a proper spot for the settlement, previous to the arrival of the remainder of the fleet. In consequence of this determination, on the 25th Capt. Phillip went on board the Sirius, and with the Alexander, Scarborough, and Friendship transports quitted the fleet. On the 4th of January, 1788, the Sirius made preparations for falling in with land. On Monday, the 7th, about ten in the forenoon, the fleet was 17 leagues from the South Cape of New Holland, and at five minutes past two the signal for seeing land was made. The Mewston and Swilly Rocks soon became visible, and the fleet with fair weather stood along shore, distant only about three miles from New Holland. The Land now appeared high, rocky, and barren. Over the South Cape it seemed woody, the coast was irregular, with low points forming creeks and bays. The Golden Grove in the night of the 9th shipped a sea, with a confused heavy swell, though it was a calm at the time, which circumstance has occurred to other ships in nearly the same situation. On the following day, at two o'clock, a squall took the Sirius, arid did her considerable damage; the slowness of their progress along the coast made it the 19th before they reached the Red Point. In the evening they saw the entrance into Botany Bay, but too late for the transports to enter that night. In the course of the night the whole fleet was carried Southward as far as a clump of trees called Post-Down-Clump; but as a breezy sprung up, they soon regained the lost distance, and at ten minutes before eight in the morning, the Sirius came to an anchor in Botany Bay, and by nine o'clock all the transports were safe in.

This voyage, on the termination of which many doubts must have arisen in the onset, was providentially compleated in eight months and a week, during which time, the fleet sailed 5021 leagues, and at length rested, only a few days sail from the antipodes of their native country, and during the whole passage only 32 had died, though many were sickly on leaving England. But the good quality of the provisions, aided by the refreshments they received at Rio de Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope, rendered the fleet healthy.

On the Sirius anchoring, Captain Hunter was informed that the Supply only arrived two days previous to the fleet; and the transports which sailed with the Supply only the day before. Governor Phillip had not lost an instant from the time he arrived, in searching for a proper spot to found the settlement; but to all he had yet seen there were many objections; indeed, a place could hardly be found big enough for all to sit down. The shore round Point Sutherland was good, but there no fresh water could be found except what came from a marsh. Port Jackson and Broken Bay were now to be examined, for which purpose the Governor with Capt. Hunter, Captain Collins (the Judge-Advocate,) a Lieutenant, the Master of the Sirius, and a few marines, embarked in 3 boats. The Governor leaving orders for clearing the ground at Point Sutherland in his absence. These 3 boats presently drew the attention of the natives, who as they went along the coast, shouted "warre, warre, warre",(that is "go away, go away, go away"), though, those about Botany Bay by no means looked on them, as enemies either of their country or themselves. The coast round Port Jackson promised little, but disappointed them, by soon shewing, a fine harbour capable of affording ample security for a large fleet. On one of the coves of this, it was resolved to fix the Colony, and having examined it, the Governor and his party returned to Botany Bay.

Lieut. King, in the absence of the Governor, found nothing to induce the latter, to alter the determination he had made to fix at Port Jackson, and the removal would have taken place the next morning, had not two strange sail appeared about day light; these surprized us, till we ascertained they were the Boussole and Astrolabe, on their return from a voyage of discovery from France, under M. de la Perouse. As Capt. Hunter was working the Sirius out of Botany Bay as M. de la Perouse entered, they had hardly time to speak. Governor Phillip, with a party of artificers taken from the convicts and seamen of the Sirius, and a few marines, arrived at Port Jackson on the 25th, and on the next day, ground enough was cleared to encamp the Governor's guard. The convicts landed that morning near a stream of fresh water, at the head of a cove. On this first inhabited spot, from that time tranquillity ceased, and the foundation of a new country usurped the seat of silence. The whole party that had arrived, were assembled this evening on the point, where they landed, on which was erected a flagstaff, the Union-Jack was displayed, and the marines fired several vollies; between these, the healths of the Royal Family, and success to the New Colony, were drank by the Governor and Officers, and to conclude the evening, the Sirius and convoy, arrived from Botany Bay. Thus closed the voyage to New South Wales, with all the good fortune that could be wished, and with considerably more than might reasonably be expected. Next day the disembarkment commenced, and continued till all the convicts and troops were landed. The confusion that must take place on such an occasion, is hardly to be described, for literally speaking, every man stepped out of a boat into a wood; various parties were variously employed, few were seen, but most heard; some clearing ground, some pitching tents, others bringing up stores, in short, confusion was the order of the day; but as the woods were felled, and ground cleared, the encampments regularly extended, the whole bore something like form. The Governor's house, which was made of canvass, and brought over on purpose, was put up on the East side of Sydney Cove, and a small body of convicts were placed in tents near it. The marines were placed at the head of the cove, and on the West side the main body of convicts. The women disembarked on the 6th of February, when every person belonging to the settlement landed. Tents were provided for the sick, which number we found with concern increase; the scurvy and dissentry now broke out and several died. Wild celery, spinage, and parsley grew about the settlement, which all were glad to use in their messes. The live-stock was landed, on the East point of the cove, when having cropped the pasturage, they were removed, to the head of the adjoining cove, which was cleared for a farm, to be under the direction of a person, the Governor brought out.

His Excellency ordered some ground on the East side of his house, to be cleared for the purpose of receiving the plants, &c. from Rio-de-Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope. They were then brought on shore, and in a short time every eye was gratified with seeing the fig, orange, pear, grape, and apple take root in New South Wales.

The Governor ordered his Majesty's commission, which appointed him to be, his "Captain General and Governor in Chief, in and over the Territory of New South Wales and its Dependencies", to be read in public, together with the Letters Patent for establishing Civil and Criminal Courts in the territory, which was now found to extend from Cape York, the extremity of the coast to the North, in the latitude of 20°. 37'. South, to the South Cape, the Southern extremity of the coast, in the latitude of 43°. 39'. South, and inland to the Westward as far as 135°. of East longitude, comprehending all the islands adjacent, in the Pacific Ocean within the latitude of the before mentioned Capes.

The ceremony of reading these instruments was performed, with great dignity, by Captain Collins, the Judge-Advocate, after which the Governor addressed himself to the convicts, and assured them, that he should ever be ready to encourage those who might deserve it; but, on the contrary, those who acted in opposition to propriety, would inevitably meet the punishment they deserved; nor did he close without shewing them, how much it was both their duty and interest, to forget the ways in which they had lived, and to become good, honest, and industrious members of the community. At the end of his affectionate address three vollies were fired, after which he received the honours due to his rank on the parade, and entertained all the officers and gentlemen of the settlement under a tent pitched on purpose.

On mustering the convicts in the morning, nine were found absent, for notwithstanding every care that could be taken, so ignorant were they, that fearless of danger, some of them intreated, but in vain, to be taken on board the French ships in Botany Bay. For want of proper persons being sent out to act as overseers, the convicts could not be kept to work, as those who overlooked them, were only such convicts as behaved well on the voyage, so that having participated in the vices of others, they had neither inclination or power to exact obedient conduct. Thefts now began to be discovered, and many tools secreted; these evils resulted in a great measure, from the sailors bringing spirits on shore, which even punishment could not prevent. The Criminal Court, was assembled on the 11th of February, for the trial of prisoners. One for an assault, was sentenced to have 150 lashes; the next for robbing another convict of biscuit, was to be confined on a rocky island for a week, on bread and water; and the third, for stealing a plank, was sentenced to receive 50 lashes, but was pardoned.

It is too frequently found that mercy is abused, and that a merciful judge encreases the number of criminals; this was shortly exemplified, for in less than a month four more were tried for a still greater offence, which was robbing the store of provisions; thus at once destroying the support of the whole, and at the very time when the officer and the convict had the same allowance of provisions. The charge being proved, one man, James Barrett, suffered death, his confederates were banished, and one sentenced to have 300 lashes was pardoned, and one who was tried the next day was pardoned on condition of becoming executioner to the colony.

The Letters Patent, authorized proceeding in a more summary way than in the realms of Great Britain. The Criminal Court was to consist of the Judge-Advocate, and six Officers of the Sea or Land Service, and to hear, determine and punish all offences committed in the Colony, according to the laws of England. The charges to be exhibited in writing by the Judge-Advocate, and witnesses to be examined on oath, both for and against the prisoner, and the court to adjudge whether guilty or not, by a majority; but in cases of death there must be five concur in the opinion of his guilt, and the sentences so pronounced to have the effect of a verdict from a Jury, and the Provost Martial to cause the judgment of the Court to be executed according to the Governor's warrant.

The Civil Court consists of the Judge-Advocate and two inhabitants of the settlement, appointed by the Governor, which Court hears and decides all pleas of lands, houses, debts, and contracts, and all personal pleas, with power to summon the parties, to examine such complaint by witnesses on oath, and issue execution under the hand of the Judge-Advocate, and any body aggrieved may appeal to the Governor, and if the amount exceeds 300l. to the King himself in Council. This Court has likewise a power to grant probates of wills and administration of personal estates acquired in the country.

The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Judge-Advocate are constituted Justices of the Peace, and the Governor is empowered to make such other persons Justices of the Peace as he may think proper.

Augustus Alt, Esq. Surveyor General, was the first sworn into this office, to sit with the Judge-Advocate and determine on, and punish such causes as were of two little importance to bring before a Criminal Court.

Besides the other powers of the Governor, he was Vice-Admiral of the territory, and could assemble Courts Martial, and confirm and set aside sentences. Capt. Collins, the Judge-Advocate to the Settlement, had also a warrant giving him the same important office to the marine detachment.

The Lieutenant Governor is Judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court, for the trial of offences committed on the High Seas.

Thus, effectual means were provided to punish offenders, and as the various Courts could be assembled when wanted, that loss of time and labour was saved, which would otherwise have taken place.

The allowance of provisions was now the following weekly ration, to each male 7lbs. of biscuit, 1lb. of flour, 7lbs. of beef or 4lbs. of pork, 3 pints of pease, and 6 ounces of butter; and two thirds of this quantity to the female convicts, which ought certainly to have afforded of itself perfect security to the store: but the Government had to deal with those who no consequences, would deter from the commission of crimes, and who no reward could induce to do right.

As the safety of the stores, constituted the preservation of the colony, ground was cleared and houses began to hold them. This was done by the convicts, and as a temptation to work they had a quantity set them, which done, they were allowed time to collect materials to build huts for themselves, but this few profited by, prefering idleness, and many thinking to escape if they could get on board, daily visited the ships of the French in Botany Bay; but M. de la Perouse gave no countenance to their requests, but threatened to drive them away by force.

In February the Supply sailed from Port Jackson, as the Governor was instructed, for the purpose of growing flax, to form a settlement at Norfolk Island, on which expedition he sent Lieut. King, first making him a Justice of the Peace, as Commandant, a surgeon, a petty officer, two soldiers, nine male and six female convicts, and two persons who boasted a knowledge of the flax dressing business. They had likewise tools, farming implements, and provisions for six months. The situation of Norfolk Island is in latitude of 29°. South, and in longitude 160°. 10'. East of Greenwich.

Lieut. Dawes, of the Marines, was by the Board of Longitude ordered to make observations in New South Wales, for which purpose the Board sent out proper instruments, and shortly after their arrival an observatory was begun, under this Gentleman's direction. On a survey of the harbour being made by Captain Hunter, it was found to exceed the extent imagined to the Westward, and the country was found to be even better there than near the settlement, During this survey Capt. Hunter saw many of the natives, who left him in a friendly way, as he treated them with his usual cheerful manners.

Least the loose way in which the natives left their spears, fish-gigs, and other little property about, should tempt the convicts or others to make free with any thing, the Governor strictly ordered no one to take them, as it was his earnest wish, and constant endeavour to keep up a friendly intercourse with them. During the first six weeks of our residence, we received a visit from only two natives, who came and staid a short time, every thing they saw they admired, and on giving each a hatchet, we found they understood the use of it.

It is to be lamented that the orders of the Governor had little effect, for the convicts lost no opportunity of taking all they could find from the natives, which made them resist an attempt a boat's crew made to land in one of the coves, and shortly after a few landed on Garden Island, where a garden was making, and watching their opportunity, ran away with the tools of our men, who then fired at them, and hitting one with small shot, the axe was dropped, but with the rest they escaped. M. de la Perouse likewise was obliged to fire on the natives, for annoying his people while on shore. These circumstances attributed to the termination of that intercourse Governor Phillip was so desirous to cultivate.

Several couples signified their wish to marry, and they were never refused, unless proof was given that either had a husband or wife living on leaving England, and some expecting to have received a portion of liberty for marrying, finding themselves disappointed, wished to be restored to their former state.

Important as the business was in which the whole colony was engaged, divine service was regularly performed on Sundays, all the convicts attending, and a detachment of marines with their arms; and it was with pleasure observed, that all behaved with the greatest attention and respect.

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[A New South Wales Almanack, for the year 1811, has been published in that settlement, containing, among other matters, lists of the civil and military establishments. A pearl fishery has also been discovered by Captain Campbell, and is situated to the Eastward of Otaheite. The pearl oyster shells are worth in this country about £140 per ton; and in China they bring 20 dollars a pickel (133 lbs.) The natives dive for them, and generally obtain five tons daily.

Capt. Campbell formerly commanded the Harrington brig, which traded to the East Indies, and was taken possession of by some convicts, and carried out of Port Jackson. By this seizure he sustained a loss of £4000.

Great improvements have taken place since the accession of Col. Macquarrie to the government. The large town of Sydney is now planned and laid out in regular streets, and divided into districts, with head-boroughs, sub-constables, watchmen, &c. Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth has been appointed the head of the police. Five townships have been laid out on the Hawkesbury and George Rivers, to be called Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce, Pitt, and Castlereagh. The roads from Sydney to Paramatta and Hawkesbury, which were scarcely passable, have been repaired, bridges thrown over the small streams, and turnpikes established. No fears of a scarcity of provisions were to be apprehended, vast quantities of cattle being reared, and the store-houses being filled with grain. Butchers' meat was from 1s. to 1s. 3d. per lb. and the supply of the colony equal to its consumption, without assistance from the mother country. Wool was likely to be their first staple of commerce. Settlers of good character were furnished with live-stock from the government stores, on consideration of paying the value, in money or grain, in 18 months. The population of Sydney is estimated at 10,000 souls, of which number 8,000 have been sent from England as convicts. Governor Macquarrie was indefatigable in reforming public morals, both by example and precept, and in checking drunkenness, concubinage, and other vices which were too prevalent.

A singular advantage to the Colony is the introduction of cotton-trees, by a French emigrant Colonel, named De la Clampe, who, having fled to England during the revolution, was permitted by Government to go out to the Colony. When M. Peron visited the settlement, he says, "Of all which De la Clampe pointed out, nothing so forcibly excited my attention as a beautiful plantation of cotton, and cocoa-trees, in a very flourishing condition. M. de la Clampe assured me, that by a series of tedious and very nice experiments, he had succeeded in raising cotton-trees, yielding cotton of various shades, and especially that peculiar to the fine nankeens of China, a fast colour hitherto not obtained, whether by dint of culture or by dyeing. 'Either I am much mistaken,' said the Colonel, 'or in a short time I shall have created two branches of commerce and exportation for this Colony of the greatest value:—I have but this means left of acquitting the sacred debt I owe to a nation which gave me shelter in the hour of misfortune; and I am the more impatient for the moment which will enable me to satisfy this first desire of my heart, as a testimony of gratitude like this will best agree with my sentiments of delicacy and patriotism.'"]


IN the beginning of February, the Colony suffered great inconvenience from the rain, and on the 6th, 2 lambs, 6 sheep, and a pig, were destroyed by lightning, at the foot of a tree. In the beginning of March, the Governor took an excursion for a few days, under the idea of finding several spots of good land, near Broken Bay, but without success. The weather became now equally averse to labour and health, the sick list amounted to 200; for the reception of these a building was erected, one ward for the troops, and a second for the convicts. Barracks likewise were began for the detachment, but all building was retarded, by the bad quality of the wood, which was both shakey and rotten.

The French now departed from Botany Bay, but previous to their sailing buried the Abbe Le Receveur, not far from where their tents were erected, and on the tree at the foot of which he was laid, were nailed two pieces of board, with the following inscription:

Hic jacet
L. Receveur
Ex F. F. Minoribus
Galliæ Sacerdos.
Physicus in Circumnavigatione Mundi
Duce D. de la Perouse,
Obit Die 17 Febr. Anno

When these boards fell down, Governor Phillip had the inscription engraved on copper, and put in the same place. A wharf was now began, for landing goods, and the ordnance, which consisted of two brass six pounders on travelling carriages, four iron twelve pounders, and two iron six pounders, were brought on shore. The transports which Mere chartered for China began to clear. A gang of convicts were employed about the head of Long Cove to make bricks, near which two acres of ground were cleared for such officers, as wished to raise grain for their stock, as no grants of land were to be made, until an account of the country had been taken. That necessity which obliged them to suffer the live-stock to range about the tents, was the cause of great inconvenience, for the hogs in particular made way into them, and destroyed every thing they met with. These damages were at first made good from the store, but, that opening the door to impositions, an order was given, to kill any hog caught so trespassing. The main street for a town was marked out of extensive dimensions.

The Supply returned from Norfolk Island on the 19th, after an absence of 4 weeks and 6 days. She reached the island on the 29th of last month, but in consequence of the great surf they could not land till the 5th day after, and then could not pitch a tent till they had cleared the ground. The bay he landed in, and fixed the settlement, he called Sydney Bay, and the two small islands at a little distance, he named Phillip and Nepean. The soil at Norfolk Island was very rich, but the landing dangerous at Sydney Bay, as it is exposed to Southerly winds. The flax plant, which was the object of this expedition, and which Capt. Cook remarked to grow spontaneously, had not been discovered by Lieut. King when the Supply sailed. Lieut. Ball after he left this harbour, soon discovered an uninhabited island, smaller than Norfolk Island, abounding with turtle and fowls, which were so tame that some of the crew approached near enough to knock them down with sticks, this place Lieut. Ball called Lord Howe Island. The pines on Norfolk Island grow to an immense size, one measured nine feet round, and another 180 feet in length. The Scarborough, Charlotte, and Lady Penrhyn transports were cleared and discharged. Several of the convicts came in from the woods wounded by the natives. One of the wounded had been employed cutting rushes for thatching, and another who was not well, had been collecting vegetables. All our people denied giving any cause, but as they well knew the consequence that would result from offending the natives, there could be no wonder that they denied it, for the Governor had made known, that any one, giving them offence, should be subjected to a prosecution. There can be no doubt but our people gave the first offence, for the Governor on his return from his excursion about Broken Bay, found the natives very shy, instead of coming to him with that confidence with which he had formerly inspired them with. At length one came to him, and informed him by signs, that he had been beaten by some of our people, this and their running away, were strong-proofs of the truth, added to which 11 canoes full of natives, passed the Sirius, and on our boats going near them, they paddled off. The water, that had supplied the settlement, was found to be only a drain from a swamp, it was therefore requisite to let it remain without cutting the wood round it. April now commenced, and the winter was approaching, every hand was put on the buildings, even the ships' crews helped, except those who brought the cabbage trees, to assist in making huts, a row of which were began on the West side for the female convicts. Distress was now very universal owing to the scurvy. A woman convict was accused with stealing an iron, which was found on her, being left alone she hung herself, but was discovered and cut down in time to save her life.

Thefts continued to be continually committed, but they became fewer, as the Governor assured the convicts that instant punishment should attend all future convictions; and had the sailors not continued to bring spirits on shore, their conduct as well as the convicts would have been more to be commended.

The venereal disease was discovered among the convicts, which made the Governor order, that any person having it and concealing it, should receive corporal punishment, and have short allowance of provisions for six months. The ordnance of the colony was now placed under the direction of Lieut. Dawes, and a redoubt was began by him. In the course of this month the stock of sheep suffered much by the dogs of the natives, at one part 5 ewes: and a lamb, were destroyed.

May, like every other month in the infancy of the Colony, was marked by crimes, a youth of 17, James Bennett, was tried and convicted for breaking open a tent, and stealing above the amount of 5s. he confessed many crimes after conviction for this, and to idleness and bad company attributed his ruin. With a view to make a deeper impression on others, he was instantly executed. On the 5th, 6th, and 7th of this month a transport sailed for China. On the 8th, likewise, sailed the Supply for Lord Howe Island, in quest of fowl and turtle, as a change of diet was thought the best means of resisting the rapid progress of the scurvy.

The Governor wishing to ascertain the state of the live-stock, desired a general return; the amount of which was,

5  cows 29  sheep 18  turkies
2  bulls 19  goats 35  ducks
1  stallion      25  pigs 29  geese
3  mares 49  hogs 122  fowls
3  colts 5  rabbits      87  chickens   

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[But in 1812 we find the stock so much improved, that the following was an average of the price of provisions at Sydney for several months: Wheaten bread 12½ d; India corn bread, 5½ d. per loaf; beef, 1s. 4d. and mutton and pork, 1s. 6d. per lb.; potatoes, 16s. per cwt.; fowls, 2s. 6d. each; eggs, 3s. per dozen. Jamaica rum and Hollands gin, each 27s. per gallon, wholesale. The population of New South Wales was estimated, at the lowest calculation, at 20,000 souls.]

A bricklayer, being discovered among the convicts, a number of men were put under him to build brick huts. On the 15th, a stone house was began for the Governor. In the course of this month the store house was completed and a road to the wharf. On the 21st, in the evening, a convict was brought to the hospital, dreadfully wounded by some natives with a barbed spear, which entered between his shoulders, and went three inches deep into his back. He said, that while in a cove at some distance, he was suddenly wounded by a spear, when his companion ran away, and that the natives then came and stripped him of his clothes, but did not take them away. In a few days the other man's clothes were brought in, torn with spears, and covered with blood, leaving no room to doubt of his fate. On the 25th the Supply returned from Norfolk Island, being unable to procure any turtle; but while absent, they saw a rock which Lieut. Ball, from its shape, called Ball Pyramid. A soldier and sailor were tried on the 26th for assaulting and wounding James M'Neal, a seaman belonging to the Sirius. This happened on Garden Island, they all three lived in one hut, and having received their week's spirits they got drunk and quarreled. The assault being proved, each received 500 lashes. The 30th of this month, the bodies of two convicts were brought in, the head of one was beaten to a jelly, and the bodies of both had many marks of spears. It was found on inquiry, that these men had stolen a canoe from the natives, for which they suffered with their lives. The natives themselves came about us as usual, and some who went near the Sirius were shaved; when they landed on the Western point, they examined every thing, and went away very friendly, taking no notice of the murders, and seeming to fear no resentment; but the Governor thought it necessary to avenge it, so he set out with a strong party well armed, and landed were the bodies were found, then proceeding across the country to Botany Bay, he saw on the beech upwards of 50 canoes, but no natives near them. However, in a cove between Botany Bay and Port Jackson, he fell in with about 300 natives of both sexes, and a friendly intercourse took place, but nothing which could tend to discover the murderers.

His Majesty's birthday was kept with all the honours the colony were capable of shewing; the Sirius and Supply fired several vollies, and in honour of his Majesty's second brother, the Governor fixed the boundaries of the first county on the island, and named it Cumberland County. Each person in the colony drank his Majesty's health, and those sent to the rocks as a punishment, received a free pardon. That vicious minds, never lose an opportunity of taking an advantage is universally admitted, and the little liberty allowed the convicts this evening, afforded them an opportunity of plundering many huts and tents. An officer on going to his tent, found a convict, who he was obliged to wound with his sword before he could secure him. Fortunately two were detected and executed, but one of these was out of the way for 19 days, secreting himself by day, and coming at night to the colony to rob the huts and tents.

Economy is one of those virtues which could hardly be expected to reign among convicts; they were so destitute of it that they would not manage to use their provisions so as to last the week, but by devouring the whole in the beginning of the week, were totally without for the latter part.

One of these improvident men made his week's allowance of flour (which was at that time 8lbs.) into cakes, and eat them at one meal. The consequence was, he was taken both senseless and speechless, and next day died. A convict, to whose care was entrusted the cattle, let 4 cows and 2 bulls stray away, and did not inform the Governor of the loss for 2 days, every exertion was made use of to recover them, but after a fruitless search for many days, they were given up as lost. As the weather became colder, the fish deserted the coast so much that few were to be caught, and from this cause the natives suffered so much, that one old man was found nearly starved to death. On the 22d a slight shock of an earthquake was observed, it lasted two or three seconds, but was so slight, that many did not feel it. The Prince of Wales, Alexander, Borrowdale, and Friendship, completed their stores, and sailed for England on the 14th of July, and on the 20th the Supply sailed with provisions for Norfolk Island. Two transports now only remained, and every preparation was making for clearing and discharging them. A cellar was made, to receive the stock of spirits from on board the Fishburn, and the provisions from the Golden Grove were placed in the large storehouse. As many accidents happened by fire, an order was issued to prevent chimnies being built in those huts that were thatched. When our people were fishing, it was by no means uncommon for some of the natives to come down and help them haul the seine, for which assistance they usually had a share of the fish given them. However, one day, driven by hunger or some less honest motive, they came and took more than half what was brought on shore; they were armed, and had a party in the rear with spears poized, ready to throw if any resistance had been made; but for the future a petty officer was ordered to go with every fishing boat down the harbour. Notwithstanding all the orders, that could be given to prevent offending the natives, they had, in toto, no effect on the convicts, for in direct opposition to the Governor's regular orders, they would wander about, often only two together, and even singly. On the 27th, as two convicts strayed in this way, the natives made signs to them to go back, which they did, but ran different ways, the natives seeing this, threw spears at them; one escaped, but the other received two spears, on which, he swam over the bay, and said the natives laughed at him.

The beginning of August was so very rainy, that all building, and indeed labour of every kind was suspended, and considerable damage was done to the brick-kiln, which fell in, a quantity of bricks were spoilt, and the very roads were unable to be passed. Till the 14th, when the weather changed, no work could be done. During the unfavourable deluge, thefts were frequent, a sheep, intended for celebrating the Prince of Wales's birth day, was stolen, and notwithstanding the Governor offered the reward of emancipation for the discovery, it was without effect; but the Prince's birth day was observed by a cessation from labour, and the colours were displayed at the flagstaff, on this and all other birthdays of the Royal Family.

A party of natives, on the 21st, landed from five canoes, near where the observatory was building, while some engaged the workmen and officers, the others endeavoured to take away a goat from the hospital, but being resisted by a sailor, they held their spears at him till he retreated, then killed the goat, and putting it in a canoe, bore towards Long Cove. The Governor followed them, and got up with some of the party, but neither could meet with the offenders or the goat. The Supply, on the 26th, arrived from Norfolk Island, with accounts that the flax plant had been discovered, and was growing luxuriently, but the wheat seed was found to have been heated on the passage, and would not vegetate.

One of the most artful convicts, amused the Settlement at Sydney Cove, with an account of a gold mine, he pretended to have discovered, and offered to conduct an officer to the spot. A boat was got ready, but on landing at the place, he prevailed on the officer to send away the boat, and afterwards left him, and arrived at the colony, some hours before the officer, saying he sent him for a guard, but before that gentleman returned, he escaped into the wood, and did not return till next day, when he had 50 lashes for the imposition; however he persisted that he had discovered a metal, of which he produced a bit. The Governor returned about this time from an excursion, and on hearing his tale, ordered him to be again taken down the harbour, and told the man, that if it turned out a deception, he would put him to death. This saved more trouble, for the man confessed he had invented the tale to impose on the crews of the Fishburn and Golden Grove, who under the idea of having gold dust from him, would let him have cloathing, &c. and the specimens exhibited, where made from part of a brass buckle and a guinea, the remains of which he produced; for this trick he had 100 lashes, and wore a canvass frock with an R cut and sewed on it, to render him a more conspicuous rogue than the rest; but so ignorant were many, that they believed he had really discovered a gold mine, notwithstanding his confession, and the reward he highly deserved, justly obtained, and still publicly wore.

Those who were imprudent enough to exceed the limits laid down, without taking arms, continued to be molested by the natives. In the course of this month, a straying convict, was beaten, stripped, and would have been murdered by them, had they not been alarmed by a musquet going off, on which they left him, and his clothes as fast as they could.

September arrived, and the wheat sown at Port Jackson seemed to promise as little as that at Norfolk Island, therefore the Governor ordered the Sirius, to the Cape of Good Hope for seed, and as much flour as she could stow for the use of the colony; that she might bring a greater quantity, her guns were landed on the the West point of the cove: the Golden Grove was also ordered to prepare for taking stores, provisions, and convicts to Norfolk Island, A house for the stores of the detachment being now finished, they were landed from the Sirius, and placed in it. A boat of eight oars, and another of sixteen, sent out in frame, were now put together. The only cow left went mad, and was obliged to be shot, though with calf, The Golden Grove, on the 2d of October, received thirty-two convicts, a party of marines, and two seamen from the Sirius on board, for Norfolk Island; and the Sirius sailed the same day for the Cape of Good Hope, from which time, one pound of flour was deducted per week from those who received the full allowance, and two thirds of a pound from those at a shorter allowance, and thus it was to continue fill the return of the Sirius, but by this deduction labour was not affected. Some convicts were employed in procuring timber to form a bridge, over the stream at the head of the cove. A party of Natives, on the 24th, met a stray convict, and threw spears at him, but luckily without effect. On having information of this, the Governor went with an armed party; and hearing some natives in the bushes fired among them, being determined, they should keep from the colony. The Governor, in one of his excursions, discovered some fine land at the head of the cove, which, from its form, he called the Crescent, and having determined to fix a settlement there, on the 2d of November he went to mark out ground for a redoubt and other buildings, and on the 4th 20 convicts, who understood the farming business, were dispatched to him. This spot was named Rose-Hill, and the earth being of superior quality to that about Sydney Cove, and free from rocks, it promised well for the encrease of grain. The Golden Grove returned on the 10th with very favourable accounts from Norfolk Island; Lieut. King wrote that his people were healthy, vegetables and fish were in abundance, that his gardens flourished, and the grain last sown promised a line crop. On the 19th, the two store ships sailed for England, by which the Governor sent home dispatches. The redoubt began in July was this month completed, and two pieces of ordnance mounted in it. The convict who fabricated the story of the gold-mine, had for some time been observed to have become very lazy, and to neglect his work; and at length he was convicted of house-breaking, and suffered death. Before he was turned off, he mentioned two women, who received the property he at various times stole. These were afterwards apprehended, and one of them made an example of; her head was shaved, and a canvas frock put on her, with R. S. G. (receiver of stolen goods) painted on, and was to be punished, if ever seen without it. It was hoped, that shame would operate on some of the convicts at least, for of many no good could be expected, they were too callous, for any thing human to reform, and so lazy that no more work could be obtained from them, than just enough to prevent that punishment, which was the reward of total neglect. At length the Governor, ordered, that those who did not do the work allotted them should only receive two-thirds of the allowance of provisions. On the contrary, there were some few convicts, whose conduct was marked by obedience and attention, but these never associated with the vile ones. So eager, was one of the convicts, to return to England at the end of his time, that he sold part of his provisions from time to time to other convicts, to get money for his passage, and at last he died for want, leaving behind him a whole week's provisions intended for sale.

A boat-house was began under Mr. Ried, the carpenter of the Supply, to build boats, &c. with the timber of this country. A landing place was formed on the East side of the cove, and on the West side a powder magazine was marked out, to be built of stone. The Governor determined, to procure one or two natives and bring them to the settlement, for the purpose of learning the native language, that by a capability of conversing, both parties might acquire a proper knowledge of the other, and know their friends and enemies. Accordingly, on December 30th, Lieuts. Ball and Johnstone seized a young man and brought him to the Governor, who had him clothed, and a light iron put on his wrist, he was then committed to the care of a convict, who could be well trusted. A hut had been prepared, and in this he slept well, all the first night, and made no attempt to escape. Thunder, lightning, rain, and hot weather closed the year, yet these violent commotions of the elements, by no means gave the most judicious an unfavourable opinion of the climate; neither did the frequent enormities, committed by the more depraved part of the convicts, make the enlighted part of the colony despair of eventually effecting all the good which could be rationally expected.



IDLENESS, the mother of all vices, held an absolute sway over the convicts, but this was not the only evil to be complained of. Thefts, which may be called the children of idleness, were no strangers to the colony, one committed a robbery, and fled to the woods, but came every night to rob the tents and huts, and once effected a robbery on the public store, however he was taken, tried, and hung. Another for, stabbing a woman with whom he lived, was sentenced to have 700 lashes, half of which he had at the time the other was executed. When one of our boats went down the harbour with convicts to cut rushes, some natives stole three jackets, on the discovery they were pursued, when they left their canoe, and landing ran into the woods; but our people, notwithstanding the continual orders, to touch nothing belonging to the natives, retained the canoe, on seeing which they threw a spear and wounded the cockswain. The young native that was taken to the colony in December, was now taken down the harbour, and conversed several times with his friends, but had no wish to leave the settlement. To prevent the convicts practice of selling their clothes, the Governor ordered, that any person buying them, should on information be obliged to redeliver them, and lose the money they might have given for them.

At the end of February, the detachment took possession of their barracks, and a brick guard-house was began. At Rose-Hill the ground was being cleared, but the labour of removing the timber when cut down, very much retarded the progress of our people. One of the convicts, in March, strayed away to the woods, to obtain a herb called by us the sweet tea, and he was murdered by the natives. The brick-makers gang, to which this man belonged, determined on revenge, and arming themselves with sticks, proceeded against the natives, but met a larger number than they expected, who threw spears at them, and killed one man and wounded six. On this, a well armed party was sent out, who found the body of the man, and a boy whom they had wounded and nearly cut his left ear off. Notwithstanding this party suffered so much, by going without orders against the natives, the Governor determined to punish them, and ordered those not wounded to have 150 lashes each, and as soon as the others recovered, they were to have the same. Six soldiers were discovered, in a plan they had long executed, of robbing the store, by means of a false key, which breaking in the lock, led to a discovery, and the six were tried and hung. In the mean time Norfolk Island escaped an insurrection. The Supply returned from there on the 24th.

On Thursday, the 26th of February, early in the morning, a hurricane visited the island, several pines of 180 feet in length and upwards, were blown down, and from then till noon the wind increased, with torrents of rain. A very large oak was blown on the granary, and dashed it to pieces, breaking several barrels of flour. At noon the storm was so violent, that it blew up more trees than 50 men could have felled in a fortnight, and the gardens both public and private were destroyed. Lieutenant King's people were in good health, and he retained the same good opinion of the climate, he entertained at first; for the internal defence of the island he had formed the free people into a militia, and general satisfaction was visible in every countenance when the Supply dropped anchor in the cove. The Governor ever anxious to discover all that could be of use to the Islands prosperity, directed in the beginning of April, a survey to be made of a large bay on the North shore, in consequence of which, a sufficient depth of water was discovered for foreign ships to anchor in. The Governor called it Neutral Bay. Early in this month the people gave information, that on going to the harbour they found the caves filled with dead bodies of the natives. The cause of this was discovered on bringing two men, a boy, and a girl to the colony, when it proved to be the small-pox. The two men were overcome by the disease too much to recover, but the boy and girl did very well directly. The native who resided with us, said whole families were killed by it, and that many to avoid it, flew to the woods. When the boy recovered, he was taken by Mr. White, the surgeon, of whom the boy was very fond, and the girl was taken by the clergyman's wife. From the time the children came to us, the native who lived in the settlement was very attentive to them, and, as was feared by every body, he caught the infection and died. At five in the evening, on the 6th, after an absence of seven months and six days, the Sirius from the Cape of Good Hope anchored in the cove. She arrived at the Cape on the 2d of January, and sailed on her return on the 20th of February. In a gale she suffered much damage. She brought 127,000 weight of flour for the settlement, and twelve months provisions for her crew. The latter end of May several convicts reported they had seen the body of a white man in a cove at a distance; a muster was called and no one found absent but a black named Cæsar, who had absconded from the service of an officer, and taken with him a gun, an iron pot, and some provisions; in the course of a short time, however, he was caught, and as the idea of death seemed to have no effect on his mind, the Governor ordered him to be kept at work on Garden Island in fetters. The King's birthday was celebrated with every possible respect on June 4th, 1789, and in addition to the ceremonies of last year, the ordnance of the colony was fired for the first time, and in the evening, some of the convicts were suffered to perform the comedy of the Recruiting Officer. On the following day Lieut. Creswell, with a body of marines, sailed in the Supply for Norfolk Island. The Governor returned on the 14th of July, from a second excursion up the river Hawkesbury, in which he was impeded by a shallow just above a hill, he called Richmond Hill. Two years had now elapsed, and several convicts claimed the privileges of free men, but by some accident the proper papers for ascertaining the facts, had been left in England, and though no profit hardly could arise from the freedom being granted, they were anxious for it, so the Governor directed the Judge-Advocate to take the affidavits of those who could swear their time was expired, and recommended them to work for the public till the papers left in England should arrive. The live-stock of the colony now became an object of attention, it was observed, that all the animals kept for breeding brought forth a greater number of males than females, as in a litter of twelve pigs, nine were males, and only one kid out of seven was a female, and it generally happened in the same proportion, This circumstance was of serious consequence, for it threatened to retard the time when the assistance from the mother country could be dispensed with. From Lieut. King, at Norfolk Island, the Supply brought dispatches, saying 17 acres of ground had been cleared, that he was erecting a store-house, and had made a road from Sydney to Cascade Bay, and a cotton tree was discovered.

The continual depredations committed in the colony, drew every good mind to consider some mode of relief, and at length a plan was proposed by one Harris, a convict, for a night watch, to take up such as might be out after a given hour, and to be assisted by the military if wanted, this proposal was accepted by the Governor, and adopted on the 8th of August. On a survey of the Sirius, she was found to want considerable repairs, which commenced directly.

As Henry Hacking, who was suffered to go into the woods to shoot fowls, was thus employed, a stone was thrown at him with great force, and on looking about, saw about 40 natives in the bushes, wishing to get rid of them, he presented his piece several times, but instead of going away they followed him, on which he fired, and on discharging a second time, they went away. The purser of the Sirius, who was cutting wood, received a visit from a few natives, who hid his axes in the bushes, but finding he missed them, they ran off, and left two children behind them, which the purser, Mr. Palmer, detained till he recovered the property lost.

The corn promised a grateful return at Rose-Hill, where an emu was killed, which on being opened contained 50 eggs. In October a vessel was launched, which was employed in taking provisions, &c. to Rose-Hill. It was now discovered that the store was infested with rats, and on removing them, eight casks of flour were found destroyed.

In the beginning of November, the quantity of provisions issued to the males in the colony was reduced one-third, except spirits. This measure was adopted from the uncertainty of hearing from England, it was however found requisite to issue this ration of provisions on Saturdays and Wednesdays, to make them last the proper time.


Captain Hunter, on the 7th of November, brought the Sirius into the cove perfectly repaired and fit for sea. The supply on the 11th sailed for Norfolk Island, and was to call at Lord Howe Island in quest of turtle. By the activity of the watchmen, a female convict was taken up for house breaking, and received sentence to die, when she pleaded being with child, but a jury of women pronouncing otherwise she was executed, and previous to being hung, acknowledged she only said she was so, to save her life. One of the colony boats caught as many fish in the seine as would have served the whole settlement a day, had it not burst, and a boat belonging to the Sirius caught near fifty large fish, which were called light horsemen from a bone that grew out of the head like a helmet. On the 25th of November two natives were secured, they were known by the children, who informed them of the safety they were in, but being dissatisfied, one effected his escape with an iron on his ancle, and the other was detected when going to follow the first, This month a brick-house was began for the Judge-Advocate, and in December the harvest was got in; at Rose-Hill it produced 200 bushels of wheat, 35 of barley, a few oats, and a small quantity of Indian corn, all of which was reserved for seed, and 25 bushels of barley was produced from a small spot of ground called the Governor's Farm, at Sydney. The Supply returned from Norfolk Island on the 21st, in her visit to Lord Howe Island. 18 turtle were turned, but as several died on the passage only four could be left there. A few days before Christmas a cabbage was cut at Rose-Hill, that weighed 26lbs. On the 7th of January, 1790, the Supply sailed for Norfolk Island, with convicts and stores, as Lieut. King wished more hands to be sent to him. A convict, whose term the Governor was convinced had expired, signified a wish to become a settler, and as he had been bred to the business of a farmer, and by his good conduct and industry while in the colony, manifested a strong desire to return to a good line of life. The Governor ordered two acres of ground to be cleared, and a hut built for him, and supplied him with tools, seed, and live-stock, that he might commence farmer. Anxiety now became seriously visible, for the flour brought from England was expended, and only that, procured from the Cape of Good Hope remained. On the South head of the harbour a flagstaff, was erected, and a hut for those who attended it. This was meant to serve as a signal for any vessel that might arrive, and that the settlement might learn when any came in view. Fish was often caught in great abundance, and one night, enough was taken to afford two pounds to every person in the settlement, which was given them exclusive of the regular provisions. The Governor directed boats to go out three times a week to fish for the public, and the produce was of great service. Cæsar, who was sent to work on Garden Island, effected his escape, and got to Rose-Hill, from whence he returned on the 30th very much wounded by some natives; but he said he had discovered the cattle lost from the colony, and in endeavouring to drive them before him, the natives threw spears at him. From his known character this was paid no attention to, but he was secured and taken to the hospital to be healed of his wounds. On the 10th of February, a signal was made from the flagstaff, every mind was big with expectation in full hopes of hearing from England, but it proved only the Supply on her return from Norfolk Island, being unable to bear up to Port Jackson she had gone to Botany Bay. Lieut. King informed the Governor that his wheat had returned 20 fold, and his people were healthy, and that the gardens flourished. The soil at Norfolk Island bearing such an evident superiority over that of the settlement, determined the Governor to send a number of convicts there, with two companies of marines. A month passed in making preparations for their departure. The weather was very bad, the rain poured down in torrents, doing great damage among the huts of the convicts. The allowance of spirits which had hitherto been half a pint a day, was on the 1st of March reduced to half that quantity. On the 3d, two companies of marines, with their officers, the Lieutenant-Governor, and a surgeon, embarked on board the ships Sirius and Supply. On the following day, 116 male and 68 female convicts, and 27 children, were put on board. Cæsar was one of the male convicts, who the Governor pardoned; and one of an opposite description, for his conduct had been so good as to raise him to the privileges of freedom, and he was now sent as an assistant to a medical gentleman at Norfolk Island. The Sirius and Supply sailed on the 5th. Capt. Hunter left at the South Head, the gunner, a midshipman, and six of the Sirius's crew. Those who remained at Sydney had all the Governor's attention, he visited the huts left empty, by those gone to Norfolk Island, and gave them to those whose huts were in a miserable state, and that this kindness might not fail to have some good effect, they were told, that unless, both the huts and gardens were kept in a good state, they would be turned out, and that they might have time to do this, Wednesday afternoon and all Saturday was allowed them. On the 27th, a still shorter ration was found requisite to be adopted, and 4lbs. of flour, 2½lbs. of pork, and 1½lb. of rice, was all that could be allowed per week, for each person. This consequently affected the capability of working so much, that it was ordered to begin work at sunrise and end at one o'clock, allowing a little time for breakfast; and the afternoon was allowed them to receive their provisions and work in their gardens. The same regulations were adopted at Rose-Hill, and the night-watch was urged to be very active. The little live-stock now began to be an evil, for those to whom it belonged, being unable to keep them regularly fed, suffered them to range about, and as they did considerable damage in the gardens, the Governor ordered them to be kept up at night, for if caught in any garden they should be forfeited.

On the 3d of April it was directed, that all the fish caught should be issued at the public store, at the rate of ten pounds of fish to two pounds and a half of pork, for in the present state of affairs the smallest saving was an object. The want of supplies from England, threw a gloom over every person in the settlement, which was materially augmented by the loss of the Sirius, on the reef at Norfolk Island, this nearly banished all hope, as it was to this ship going for provisions, that all looked for relief Every exertion was made to save the ship, without effect, but no life was lost, and the major part of the provisions on board were saved. After the loss of the Sirius it was found requisite to proclaim martial law; and that two keys should be made to the public store, one to be kept by Capt. Hunter in behalf of the seamen, and the other by some person on the part of the military, And the next day the troops, seamen, and convicts, being informed of the resolutions, shewed their satisfaction, by passing under the colours displayed on purpose. The Supply brought the Commandant of Norfolk Island, and upwards of thirty persons lately of the Sirius.

Thus situated, the Governor called a council, when the dreadful situation of the colony was viewed, and it was agreed, that even the small ration of provisions must be reduced to all but children under 18 months. All private boats were to be given up for the public use, to be used in fishing, and men were to shoot for the benefit of the colony. The fishing boats not succeeding in the fishery at Botany Bay, were sent to Sydney with considerable success, but as the men employed were not found trustworthy, an officer accompanied them. On the 7th, four hundred pounds weight of fish were caught and issued; but from that day, during the month, so little was caught, that all the private boats were returned, and the men employed in them taken to the boats of government, and the shooting proved ineffectual; necessity became pressing, and the colony had to deplore the non-arrival of stores from England. The only means left was to send Lieut. Ball, in the Supply, to Batavia, to get eight months' provisions for the ship, and hire another to assist in bringing to the colony

200,000lbs. of flour      60,000lbs. of pork,
80,000lbs. of beef, 70,000lbs. of rice,

with necessaries for the hospital. Distant as the period must be when these could arrive, they were the only ones to be depended on. She sailed on the 17th of April, and could not be expected to return in less than six months. What tender anxiety must every one have felt when this vessel sailed; every hope rested on its success, and as the masthead became invisible, a prayer for her safety must have burst from every heart, and a tear thrill from each eye on losing the object of its attention.

Notwithstanding the distressed state of the colony, care was taken to reserve 300 bushels of wheat for seed, and the Governor with his usual consideration of the public good, gave up 300 weight of flour, which was his own property, and received only the same ration for himself as the soldier or the convict. Thus the hut of the convict and the government-house knew alike the miseries of want. But though distress reigned universally, it was not possible to prevent thefts. A female convict coming from Rose-Hill was robbed of seven days' ration, and as the state of the store would not afford her loss to be made good, she was left to the charity of the rest, who had themselves by far too little to empower them to work. An old man, who came to the store for his day's allowance, exhausted with hunger and weakened by age, was carried to the hospital, where he died the next day; his stomach was opened and proved empty, and it appeared, on inquiry, that having nothing to cook his little provision in, he was forced to pay for the loan of one by a part of it, but when he could not afford to do thus, he was obliged to eat them raw, which caused indigestion, and killed him.

At Rose-Hill no misconduct was found among the convicts; a kangaroo was caught there which weighed 180lbs. The native dogs grew troublesome, as they came in numbers by night, and killed several hogs. The colony now became in want of salt, so two boilers were erected to boil salt water, and by this simple means was obtained a supply of that useful article; and as the fishing tackle began to decrease, a rope-maker, (a convict,) was put to make lines from the bark of a tree, like the natives. The little labour that could be obtained from a starving people, was applied to getting the ground at Rose-Hill and Sydney ready to sow. On the 3d of June, every heart was delighted by the long expected signal for a ship in sight at South head, and though it blew very hard, Captain Tench, and the Governor's Secretary, with Mr. White, went off at great risk, and reached the ship in time to give directions for her being placed in Spring Cove. She proved to be the Lady Juliana transport, from London, last from Plymouth, from whence she sailed on the 29th of July, with 222 female convicts on board. It was now found that the not hearing from England arose from neglect, delay, and misfortune, and the latter was by far the most serious. Two months after the Lady Juliana, sailed the Guardian, of 44 guns, Lieut. Riou commander, stored with provisions, &c. which joined with those on board the Juliana, made enough for two years, including clothing for the seamen, marines, and convicts, wines, blankets, medicines, tools, &c. &c. The Guardian had a large collection of private property, for the officers, on board. Lieut. Riou, with his valuable cargo, touched at the Cape of Good Hope for live-stock for the colony, and took on board 150 fruit trees prepared on purpose, under the direction of Sir Joseph Banks. This ship, unfortunately for all parties, on the 23d of December, struck against an island of ice, in latitude 45°. 54'. South, and longitude 41°. 30'. East, which did her so much damage, that to prevent her instantly sinking, the greater part of the cargo, both public and private property, were obliged to be thrown overboard. The live-stock was all killed, and the trees all destroyed, but the ship herself was saved, and had just regained port on the Juliana's arrival, and 75 barrels of flour were put on board her from the Guardian; added to these circumstances, the Lady Juliana brought intelligence, that 1000 convicts were to sail from England shortly after, and that a corps of foot for the service of the country was raising. The pleasure felt on the first sight of the Juliana, was considerably depressed by the unpleasant news she brought. The birthday of his Majesty was kept with every honour, and the Governor pardoned all those in confinement or under sentence of punishment; and the 9th of this month was appointed to he kept as a day of thanksgiving for his Majesty's recovery from his late lamentable illness, of which they now first heard. The Lady Juliana could not reach the cove till the 6th. It was much to be lamented, that at a time when a cargo of any thing but convicts would have been of service, that scarce any thing else should arrive, but fortunately the colony had effectual relief by the arrival of the Justinian store-ship, Maitland, master, with provisions, and requisites of all kinds, from England, after a short passage of five months. Three transports were now hourly expected, with 1000 convicts and detachments of the corps. The day after the Justinian arrived, the full ration was ordered to be given, and served weekly, and the drums beat as formerly for labour, and every thing resumed its former appearance. A shop was opened on shore by the master of the Juliana, for the sale of grocery, stationary, glass, &c. &c. but were offered so dear as to sell few. On. the 26th, the Surprize transport, from England, Nicholas Anstis, master*, came into the cove; she had on board several officers and privates of "The New South Wales Corps", and 218 male convicts. This vessel sailed from Portsmouth on the 19th of January, with two other transports, and only parted with them between the Cape of Good Hope and New South Wales; during the voyage they buried 42, and 100 more were now on the sick list. On the 28th, the Neptune and Scarborough anchored off Garden Island, and the next morning entered the Cove. Great fears had been entertained that these vessels would increase the sick list, and these fears were realized, for the next day at noon, 200 sick were landed from the transports. On the West side was a shocking scene; above 30 tents were pitched before the hospital, and all the huts in the neighbourhood were filled with sick; many died, being brought on shore, and the appearance of those not on the sick list, was emaciated; this, and the illness of the others, was occasioned by the way in which they were brought over, some in irons singly, and some linked together. A plan had been detected for a mutiny to take the Scarborough, and this was the cause of much circumspection; for the future, few were suffered to be on deck at once, so that the want of air increased diseases shocking of themselves, and some on board the Neptune died in irons. Profit to the owners was all that seemed to be considered aboard these vessels. New bread was made and delivered daily to the sick, and wine, vegetables, &c. were given them, indeed no means of decreasing the sick list was neglected. The detachment of the New South Wales Corps was disembarked, and they took possession of the quarters allotted them in the marine barracks. The total of sick, on the 30th of June, was 349. By the 7th of July, the portable hospital, brought over in the Justinian, was got up and instantly filled; and on the 13th, the sick list was augmented to 488 persons. The convicts whose health would permit, were sent to be employed at Rose-Hill, with a detachment of the New South Wales corps.

[* Mr. Anstis was chief-mate on board the Lady Penrhyn.]

The Governor this month, marked out land for a town at Rose-Hill, one street of which was to be a mile in extent, and 205 feet wide. At the same time, every one was busy at Sydney, discharging the transports, by which Lieut. Riou, sent from the Cape of Good Hope 400 tierces of beef, and 200 of pork, saved from the Guardian's wreck, which with the flour received by the Juliana, was all that could be preserved of the invaluable cargo; a brick store-house was built this month, and a road formed from the brick kilns to the buildings. The Surprize and Justinian were ordered to Norfolk Island, as the Lady Juliana wanted repairs. The Justinian sailed on the 28th of July, with provisions and stores, and after landing them, was to proceed to Canton to freight home. By this ship the Governor forwarded dispatches, and the Lady Juliana being by great exertion repaired, sailed in a few days on the same course. The Governor received by these ships official instructions, respecting the distribution of land, to those of the marines, who wished to become settlers in the country: every non-commissioned officer was to have 130 acres if single, and 150 if married: to every private 80 acres if single, and 100 if married; and 10 acres for every child barn at the time of the grant, free of all rent for five years, and then to pay only one shilling a year for every 50 acres; and if they entered into the New Corps, and formed a company, to be officered from the marines, they were to have a bounty of 3l. and double the quantity of land, if they conducted themselves well for five years; and in this case to be subject to no rent for 10 years, and then only one shilling for every 50 acres: and on such grant to receive one year's provisions, seed, tools, and agricultural implements; and when they could prove their ability, to cloth and maintain a number of convicts, they were to have their labour. Government between each parcel of land so allotted, retained a space as crown land, which was to be let on lease for 14 years. In each township 400 acres were kept for a clergyman, and 200 for a school-master. The land, both good and bad, in all cases to be equally divided. The convicts who wished to become, settlers, either on emancipation or discharge, were to receive 30 acres if single, and 50 if married, and 10 for every child born at the time of settling; and the only conditions required by Government of the settlers, were, that they should reside on, and cultivate the ground, and reserve such timber as might be fit for his Majesty's navy. Towards the end of July, a whale came into the harbour, and some boats went after it, but the people not being acquainted with the use of the harpoon, it escaped, and in its course upset a punt, and Mr. Furguson, a midshipman of the Sirius, with two soldiers were drowned; after which it ran on shore, and was killed by the natives. On the 1st of August, the Surprize sailed for Norfolk Island, with 135 male and 150 female convicts, with two superintendants and a deputy commissary. The Scarborough sailed for Canton on the 8th, and the Neptune on the 24th. Exertion was now made in all parts to forward the general interest; and as provisions were regularly delivered, work could be regularly enforced, and the thefts became less frequent, and till September the natives caused no more trouble; but then Mr. White saw (Bennillong) the native who escaped in May, from the settlement, and he sent by Mr. White, as a present to the Governor, a slice of the whale. The Governor wishing to see him, armed, and went to the look-out, with a party, as he heard the cove was full of natives, and landed just by the whale. Bennillong was there with another, called Cole-be, who had also escaped from the settlement. The former was so altered in his person, that the Governor could hardly recollect him, till joined by Lieutenant Waterhouse and Captain Collins, to the latter of which gentlemen Bennillong was much attached, and now expressed much joy at seeing him again. Various articles were given to the natives, who were attending the whale feast. They shortly began forming a circle round the Governor and his party, this somewhat alarmed them, and the Governor proposed, retreating backwards towards the boats, and instructions had been given to the men, to remain on their oars in case of any accident. Bennillong had shewn to the Governor several natives, and one he particularly pointed to his Excellency; wishing to notice him, the Governor went towards him, presenting both his hands, which civility, the savage mistook for an attempt to seize him, so lifting his spear in an instant, discharged it at the Governor, and with such force was it thrown, that entering above the collar-bone the barb came through on the other side. The spear was broken off by Lieut. Waterhouse, and while the Governor was being conducted back to the boat, the men landed armed, but out of four musquets only one would go off. Two hours elapsed before the boat could reach the settlement, when the spear was extracted, and the wound pronounced not mortal. This misfortune, no doubt arose from the Governor landing unarmed, for the strong armed party sent off for Mr. White, (the principal surgeon), to broken Bay, returned the next day, and though they saw many natives no accident happened. In a few days Bennillong, with his wife and several companions, came to a cove on the North shore, near the settlement, and Mr. White and others taking Boo-roong (the native female child who was cured of the small pox) an interview with the natives was obtained, in the course of which Bennillong said, he had beaten Wil-le-me-ring, (the native who had wounded the Governor), and that he should wait some days, in hopes that the Governor would pay him a visit, which his Excellency did, on the tenth day after he received the wound, but himself and officers were ail armed. Bennillong assured him, that it was owing to fears for his own safety that Wil-le-me-ring threw the spear. This visit may he esteemed the foundation of a good understanding with the natives. On the 26th of September, five men who had been transported for life, effected an escape from Rose-Hill, and on inquiry it was found they intended to steer for Otaheite; but from the boat in which they undertook their voyage, there can be no doubt but they perished. In the beginning of October, the heat and want of rain was so great, that the grass caught fire and burned for some miles, but the wind got strong N.W. and it was soon checked. On the 8th of October, Bennillong, after many promises came to see the Governor, and his reception so delighted him, that he wished to have a hut and live near the settlement, for the building of which directions were immediately given.

On the 19th, a signal was made for a ship in sight, and shortly the Supply came into the Cove from Batavia, after an absence of six months and two days. It was with great difficulty that Lieut. Ball executed his mission, at the expense of 11,688l 6s. 9d. As the five men escaped in September, others were tempted to make similar trials, but were detected, and the masts and oars, &c. they had hid in the woods were destroyed. A boat belonging to Mr. White, which went out with the seine, was filled by the surf, and went down near Middle Head, with five people, who were all drowned. The oars, &c. which floated on shore, the natives fixed up on the coast, so that they might be seen by our people, this was the first act that shewed a friendly inclination towards the colony from them. A Storehouse was began and finished in November, at Rose-Hill, the size of which was 100 feet by 20. At Sydney, a landing place on the East side was finished, a cutler's-shop, a place to boil oil and melt tallow, and Bennillong's hut was completed, and he took possession of it.

The Dutch Snow, Waaksamheyd, (Good-look-out), hired by Lieut. Ball, anchored in the Cove, with the provisions, &c. bought by that gentleman, at Batavia, which turned out of an inferior quality, and served to shew that the Dutch are not very nice about oppressing those in want, as our colony was then. In the course of the year 1790, 2 seamen, 1 soldier, 123 male convicts, 7 females, and 10 children, died, making together 143 persons.


It would be well if at the beginning of the new year, 1791, I could say the convicts in general had become new men, but that was not the case; for as the Indian corn grew ripe their depredations commenced, notwithstanding the full ration they now received: they seemed indeed to have an innate principle for stealing engrafted in their constitutions. In January, the natives stole the colours from the flagstaff. On the 22d, the Supply sailed for Norfolk Island, with provisions, and to bring back Capt. Hunter, and the crew of the Sirius; with which she returned on the 26th of February. The greatest distress was suffered there previous to the arrival of the provisions, but now every thing went on well, and the Supply brought some canvas manufactured there, from the flax of the country.

On a survey of Norfolk Island, it was seen, that only three or four hundred families could be supported by the produce of it.

In February, the heat was so great at Rose-Hill, that a number of birds and bats fell down dead from the trees and while flying in the air. On the 2d of March, Lieut. Thomas Edgar hoisted a pendant on board the Dutch Snow, which the Governor hired to go to England; and at the end of the month, the officers and seamen who were to return to England, were embarked, but ten seamen and two marines preferred settling in New South Wales. On the 28th the Snow sailed for England, with Capt Hunter, and the officers, and part of the crew belonging to the Sirius: and in the course of the night of the 28th, one Bryant, (with his wife and two children), and seven other convicts escaped in a boat; and it was found the master of the Dutch Snow, furnished them with a chart and compass, which as some of them understood the use of, there remained no doubt, but they would reach Timor in safety, for it was understood they meant to make that place.

In the course of this month, the first settler, James Ruse, after having been fifteen months on his ground, became desirous of giving up all claims on the public store, as he found he could live on the produce of his farm. As much had been suffered for want of provisions, the Governor esteemed it prudent to guard against a second suffering, by lowering the ration in time; therefore on the first Saturday in April, 3lbs. of flour, 3lbs. of rice, and 3lbs. of pork, or 4½lbs. of beef were served to every man, woman, and child above ten years old; and a smaller to those under that age. A plan was now discovered, to take away a sixteen oared boat; but to guard against this, and all other similar attempts, a centinel was placed on the wharf; and no boat suffered to leave the cove without the knowledge of the officer of the guard. The native, Cole-be, who had lately attached himself to Mr. White, came one day with a musquet in his hand, which he found at the bottom of the sea while diving; it was thought to have belonged to one of the men who were drowned with Mr. White's boat. The Supply did not return from Norfolk Island till the 30th of May, and her long absence began to cause great anxiety, which was accounted for on her arrival, as she had been driven off by contrary winds for ten days. The provisions at Norfolk Island were likewise low, and it was found to produce an evident effect on the countenances of the convicts, having suffered so much from the same cause before. On the 4th of June, the Governor named the town marked out at Rose-Hill, Paramatta. The good understanding which had commenced with the natives, induced them to bring fish to Paramatta, and exchange it for a little bread or salt meat; but that depravity which had hitherto distinguished the convicts, nearly put an end to it, by destroying a canoe belonging to Ballooderry, a native; and though all the convicts concerned in destroying the canoe were punished, the native was not satisfied, so threw a spear and wounded one not concerned in the mischief, which made the Governor, forbid Ballooderry coming near the settlement. This alarmed the natives in general, and they kept away for some time. On the 19th of July, arrived the Mary-Ann transport, from England, with 141 female convicts, six children, and one free woman on board, and a small lot of provisions. The Governor made known, that no obstacles would be placed in the way, of those whose times were expired that might wish to return to England, if they could induce the masters of any ships that came to convey them thither. The Matilda transport arrived on the 1st of August, after a passage of only four months and five days from Portsmouth; she brought 205 male convicts, a few of the New South Wales corps, and provisions for them for nine months after landing. The Governor placed twelve convicts who wished to become settlers, in a range of farms at the foot of Prospect-Hill, West of Paramatta about four miles, and fifteen others he placed in the district named the Ponds, in a North-East direction, two miles from Paramatta, and finding the lots of ground he was instructed to retain, on each side of the grants of land, as crown land, would affect the interest of the settlers, he determined in such cases to deviate from that plan; for the natives taking advantage, of the distance settlers lived from each other, actually went and destroyed the hut of one, and would have murdered him, had not an armed settler accidentally made his appearance. On the 20th, the Atlantic arrived from Plymouth, with a party of the New South Wales corps, and 220 male convicts, and the next morning, the Salamander arrived; she likewise had on board a party of the New South Wales corps, and 160 male convicts, with an allowance of nine months' provisions. The latter was ordered to proceed with her cargo to Norfolk Island. On the 28th, the William and Ann arrived, likewise with a party of military and 131 male convicts. The town now filling fast, and spirits finding their way on shore, it was ordered, that any found without a permit from the Judge-Advocate should be seized. Ballooderry, with some of his friends, at length ventured into town, but on an attempt to seize him he threw a spear, on which, they were fired on, but only one of Ballooderry's companions were wounded, and they all escaped. The business of this month was principally confined to clearing the transports, and removing the shingles with which the houses and other buildings had hitherto been thatched, and regular tiles substituted; the land in all parts was preparing for sowing. On the 3d of September, near 200 male convicts, and a party of the New South Wales corps, went in the Salamander to Norfolk Island. His Majesty's ship Gorgon, of 44 guns, Capt. Parker, arrived on the 21st, she brought from the Cape of Good Hope, a considerable quantity of live-stock, some of which died on board, however they landed one bull-calf, 16 cows, 68 sheep, and 11 hogs, and 200 fruit-trees, and a quantity of corn and garden seed. By this ship came a public seal for the colony, and a Commission empowering the Governor to remit, either absolutely or conditionally, the whole, or any part of the terms, for which any fellons might be transported. On the 26th, the Active from England, and the Queen from Ireland arrived in the cove; on board the Active was a party of the new corps, 126 male, and 23 female convicts, and three children. These ships had been very unhealthy during their passage, and many of those in the Active and Queen complained that they had not received a proper allowance of provisions. An inquiry into the conduct of the master of the Queen took place before the magistrates, when it appeared he had not acted properly, and the Governor transmitted the proceedings, to the Secretary of State. On a survey of the Supply, it was discovered, after 6 months she would be unable to make a voyage to England, it was therefore determined to, send her off directly. The Albemarle came into the Cove, on the 13th of October, with 250 male and 6 female convicts, and 23 of the New South Wales corps. A party of the convicts, in conjunction with some of the seamen, made an attempt to seize the ship on the 9th of April, but was prevented by Mr. George Brown, who hearing the alarm, armed, and fired at one of them, and lodged the contents in his shoulder, when they all ran below; on being secured, two of the ringleaders were hung at the fore-yard arm, and two of the seamen who it appeared had supplied the convicts with tools to saw their irons off, where left at Madeira to be sent prisoners to England. On the 14th of October, the Britannia, with 129 male convicts, stores, and provisions, arrived; and on the 16th, the Admiral Barrington, with a party of the new corps, 264 male convicts, four free women, and one child. This ship brought 84 sick, who were landed directly. On the 26th, the Atlantic sailed for Norfolk Island, with Governor King and family, with other persons for the settlement, and then was to proceed to Calcutta for provisions. A party of convicts, on the 1st of November, consisting of near twenty, absconded from Paramatta, taking a week's provisions, under the idea of either finding a passage to China, or a settlement where they might live without work. A party went in search of them without effect, but a boat going down the harbour a few clays after, found the wife of one of the convicts who had absconded with him; however she had been absent from the party three days, and had wandered by herself; the next day a boat brought her husband back to the settlement. They both gave the same account of the intentions of the whole party, and that they had suffered much by fatigue, heat of the weather, and hunger, Three more of these foolish people, were found by some officers on an excursion, but did not readily surrender themselves. They were sent to Paramatta, and careless of what they before suffered, they a second time decamped, but parties were sent in pursuit directly, and returned with thirteen of those who first went off, in a state dreadfully exhausted, having existed chiefly by sucking the wild honey-flower and shrubs. It was generally imagined, that the distressed appearance of these would deter all others from similar attempts; but more effectually to guard against them, the Governor made known, that in future the parties sent after any run-a-ways would have orders to fire on them, or if brought back alive, they should be chained together, and live on bread and water only for the rest of their terms; and he told them also, that he understood they intended to arm themselves and seize on the stores; but if any such attempt was made, every man concerned should be put to death directly. The Britannia, Mary-Ann, William and Ann, and Matilda, made an excursion as an experiment to see how far it might answer the purpose to visit this, coast as a whale fishery; but owing to the badness of the weather few could be secured though several were killed; but from the great numbers seen, the masters of the vessels determined to give it another trial as soon as they could refit, which they did with much the same success. On the 26th of November, the Supply, Lieut. Ball, sailed for England, at which time there were 921 acres of land thinned, cleared, and cultivated. This month the mortality was so great that 50 male and four female convicts died; and a servant of Mr. White's in passing from his house to the kitchen, without his hat, was deprived of sense and motion by a ray of the sun, and died the next day. At twelve o'clock that day, the thermometer stood at 94°¼, and the wind was N.W. As the heat of the water affected the quality, and assisted by the watering the transports, considerably decreased the run of water, the Governor ordered the stone masons gang, to cut tanks in the rocks, as reservoirs, for water enough to last a considerable time. On the 3d of December, the Albemarle and Active sailed for India, and at and after this time orders were given to all masters or captains to deliver up any convicts or others, who might be found secreted on board, the first opportunity, to the British Government. The Gorgon sailed for England on the 18th of December.


In January 1792, a convict fainted while dragging in a brick-cart, he was removed and laid under a cart near the road side, that he might be in the shade, and being weak fell asleep, but on waking felt something tight round his' neck, which on putting his hand to, proved a large snake, who on being disturbed bit his lip. Two men passing took the snake away and killed it. The poor fellow who was bit died the next morning. At Paramatta, the bake-house was robbed by a fellow getting down the chimney, and returning by the same passage with his booty. To prevent riotous meetings of the convicts, an inclination for which now shewed itself, the Governor issued a proclamation, declaring, that if a riot took place in the night, that all absent from their huts, would be considered guilty, and be punished accordingly; and if it happened in the day time, all absent from work would be implicated. At the same time all complaints were directed to be made to the overseers, and any person not giving information of any plan for a riot, was to be considered as a principal. On the 14th of February, the Pitt, Capt. Manning, from England, came into the Cove, onboard of which was Francis Grose, Esq. with the appointment of Lieutenant-Governor of the settlement, and Major-Commandant of the New South Wales corps, a part of which came with him; there came likewise, 319 male and 49 female convicts, 5 children, and 7 free women, with provisions for that number for 10 months, and a sloop in frame of 41 tons burthen. The Governor gave permission for a shop to be opened for the sale of articles brought out in the Pitt, which sold at great prices, in consequence of the uncertainty of receiving other supplies from England. In March the Pitt sailed for Norfolk Island with provisions, and from thence was to proceed to Bengal. April and May were distinguished by disease and mortality, many died, and a great number were, with illness and shortness of provisions, rendered, so weak as to be incapable of labour. The mortality and depredations were chiefly confined to the convicts who came from Ireland in the Queen. The continual depredations at length, in May 1792, met with a temporary check, for the Governor ordered, that any body convicted, should be sent to cultivate the new grounds beyond Paramatta; thus losing the comforts of a hut and garden, as well as the pleasures of being in society, and so powerfully did this operate, that one attempted suicide to avoid it. But the natives, in May, were detected robbing the settlements beyond Paramatta of corn, 15 or 16 were observed to come from a hut dressed in such clothing as they could find, and taking away corn in nets, it was first imagined they were convicts, but on one attempting to throw a spear, the man who saw them levelled his piece, and fired at him who dropped his spear, and they all fled, leaving the corn in the nets. A few days afterwards, a convict was butchered by the natives; when the body was found it was scarce cold, and at least 30 spear wounds in it. At the end of this month, the corn was all housed in at Paramatta, and as the ground became clear, the convicts were detected, bringing in the corn they had before stolen and secreted in the woods, and all such detected, were sent to the new grounds. The employ about this time was building brick huts in the room of those first made, which being formed of perishable materials, were nearly destroyed.

The following lists of articles and prices, in the infantine country of New South Wales, in May 1792, may at some future time, if not at present, be deemed an object of curiosity.

Flour from 6d. to 1s. per lb. Flour 1s. per lb.
Maize from 12s. 6d. to 15s. per bushel, Maize from l1s. to 13s. per bushel.
Hens, laying ones, from 7s. to 10s. each. Hens, laying ones, from 7s. 6d, to 10s. each.
Cocks from 4s. to 7s. each. Cocks 4s. 6d. to 5s. each.
Chickens from 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d. each. Chickens 3s. each.
Young ditto 1s. each.
Eggs 3d. each. Eggs 3d. each.
Fresh Pork 1s. per lb. Fresh Pork 1s. 1d. to 1s. 3d. per lb.
Salt Pork 8d. to 9d. per lb. Salt ditto from l0d. to 1s. per lb.
Potatoes 3d. per lb. Potatoes 3d. and 4d. per lb.
Cabbages 1d. each. Cabbages 10s. per 100.
Greens 6d. per doz.
Sows in-pig from 4l. 10s. to 6l. 6s. each.  
Sows 3l. to 4l. 4s.
Growing Pigs 1l. to 2l. 10s. each.
Sucking ditto 10s. each.
Tea 16s. to 1l. 1s. per lb.
Coffee 2s. to 2s. 6d. per lb. Coffee 2s. to 3s. per lb.
Moist sugar 1s. 6d. to 2s. 6d, per lb. Moist Sugar 2s. to 2s. 6d. per lb.
Tobacco grown in the country from 1s. 6d. to
2s. per lb.
Brazil Tobacco 3s. to 5s. per lb. Virginia, or Brazil, from 4s. to 6s. per lb.
Soap from 1s. 6d. to 2s. 6d. per lb.
Cheese from 1s. 6d. to 2s. per lb.

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[Here by the way, it is worth observing how much the conveniences and comforts of the colony had increased in 1810, when out of 10,452 inhabitants, only 4,277 were wholly, or in great part, victualled from the public store, and when three-fifths of the corn brought to market are purchased by the Governor at a price, over which, from the largeness of the demand, he has always a power of controul. The ground in cultivation at this period amounted to rather more than 21,000 acres, and 74,000 acres were held in pasture. The stock too was considerable: by the return in 1810, the amount was, horses 524, mares 593, bulls 193, cows 6,351, oxen 4,782, sheep 33,818, goats 1,732, hogs 8,992. Of these but a small proportion were kept by government, part of which are killed for the supply of the public store, and the remainder made use of to stock the farms of new settlers. And now for some years past, excepting when the crops have failed through inundations of the river Hawkesbury, the colony has been able wholly to supply itself with corn. At times wheat and cattle have, in the courts of justice, been considered as legal tender in the payment of debts. The maximum on the price of grain and butchers' meat is no longer in existence, and though a similar limit on the price of labour had been attempted, this also had always been either evaded or disregarded.]

In June, the progress of the diseases abated considerably, though the ration was obliged to be lowered, but they were promised to be made up when supplies arrived, and all were exhorted to do the best they could to ensure a good stock for the next season, as there was every prospect of enough being produced then at Paramatta, to last the settlement for twelve months. However, on the 20th, the Atlantic store-ship came into the Cove from Calcutta, with provisions, when the following ration was issued for each marine and male convict for a week, 7lbs. of bread or flour, 7lbs. ditto of beef, or 4lbs. of pork, 3 pints of pease, ½lb. of rice, or 1lb. of flour, and two-thirds of the above to each woman.

A market-place, with a clerk to keep accounts, was appointed at Sydney, and at Paramatta, the Clerk had likewise to see that no stolen goods were bought, sold, or exchanged. The harvest being got in, the viler convicts began their depredations again, on the property of individuals. Thus it seems that the fear of going to the new grounds, was of no great duration, and though r generally speaking, detection speedily followed the commission; and punishment the conviction of the offenders, burglaries, and every species of robbery, was continually practised, and the only thing that could be lamented was, that what would have formed an excuse in any other country, here encreased the crime, hunger!!! for several declared, previous to punishment, that want of provisions was the cause, and this was in a great measure proved, for when the ration was at the full allowance there were by far fewer crimes committed, than might be expected from such a number, of SUCH people. On the 26th of July, the Britannia store-ship anchored in the Cove, from Falmouth. This was one of three ships, which were sent out with twelve months' cloathing, for the convicts, four months' flour, and eight months' beef and pork for 4639 persons at a full allowance; in consequence of which, the Commissary next day issued to each man, 4lbs. of maize, 3lbs. of soujee, 7lbs. of beef, or 4lbs. of pork, 3lbs. of pease, or dholl, and ½lb. of rice; two-thirds of a man's allowance, was issued to every woman and child above ten years old, and one-fourth of a man's ration to children under two years old. The Governor, in July, pardoned Elizabeth Perry, who came over in 1790, as James Ruse, a settler, had married her, which, with her own prudent conduct added to her husband's industry, procured this kindness from the Governor, and in this and most other cases, the hand of mercy, it was found, was extended with good effect, as by far the greater part of those who were pardoned, behaved with the greatest propriety. On the 30th of September, as the Britannia was about sailing out, the Atlantic hove in sight, and at night, entered the Cove, from Norfolk Island. Governor King complained of a grub doing material injury to the corn, which was thought to be produced by the great richness of the soil. That valuable article, limestone, was at length discovered in Norfolk Island, where it grew in great abundance, which superceeded the necessity of continually rebuilding of barracks, store-houses, huts, &c. The officers of New South Wales engaged the master of the Britannia, to make a voyage to the Cape of Good Hope on their account, for cattle and other articles not to be found in the stores.

On the 7th of Oct. the Royal Admiral East Indiaman, Capt. Bond, arrived with stores and provisions for the colony, and 21 of the New South Wales corps, a master miller, and a person to be employed in cultivation, and a third as master carpenter, with 289 male, and 47 female convicts. The Britannia sailed on the 24th for the Cape, and Mr. Raven took the Governor's dispatches for England, in which he demanded a supply of 12 months' provisions directly. A licence was granted for the sale of porter, but as spirits were introduced, it in fact, became a public house, with its usual accompaniments, drunkenness and idleness. At the latter end of the month a general delivery of cloathing, &c. to the convicts took place, which consisted of two frocks, two pairs of trowsers, one pair of stockings, one hat, one pair of shoes, 1lb. of soap, three needles, a quarter of a pound of thread, and a comb to each male; and to the females were delivered one cloth petticoat, one shift, one pair of shoes, one pair of stockings, 1lb. of soap, a quarter of a pound of thread, two ounces of pins, six needles, one thimble, and a pair of scissars. Of the quality of these, articles not much can be said in favour of, they were literally made only to sell!!!

October closed, with a melancholy circumstance, to the feelings of those who valued real worth, it was Governor Phillip's making known, his determination of quitting his Government and returning in the Atlantic to England, as his health was on the decline, and he hoped by a change of air shortly to reinstate it. The 1st of November, was distinguished by the arrival of the Philadelphia brigantine, Patrickson master, from Philadelphia, who having heard of our distress for want of provisions, at the Cape of Good Hope, made the best of his way to England, and from thence to Philadelphia, and getting his cargo on board, sailed here with beef, wine, rum, gin, tobacco, pitch, and tar. The Governor bought as much for the public store as amounted to 2829l. 11s. and the rest of his cargo was sold to the officers to great advantage. The Governor hired this vessel at the expense of 150l. to go to Norfolk Island with provisions and stores.

Having now reached that period, of the History of New South Wales, in which I find it requisite, as a faithful historian of the country, to introduce myself, I must beg leave to make use of the words of that truly respectable author, and esteemed gentleman, Capt. Collins, who has recorded the event which took place on the 3d of November, 1792, in a way which, while it records the truth, will ever be my pride to merit.

"On the 3d of the month three warrants of emancipation passed the seal of the territory: one to John Trace, a convict who came out in the first fleet; having but three months of his term of transportation remaining, that portion of it was given up to him, that he might become a settler. The second was granted to Thomas Restil, (alias Crowder,) on the recommendation of the Lieutenant-Governor of Norfolk Island, on condition that he should not return to England during the term of his natural life, his sentence of transportation being durante vitæ. The third warrant was made out in favour of one who, whatever might have been his conduct when at large in society, had here not only demeaned himself with the strictest propriety, but had rendered essential services to the colony—George Barrington. He came out in the Active; on his arrival the Governor employed him at Toongabbe, (some new ground beyond Paramatta), and in a situation that was likely to attract the envy and hatred of the convicts, in proportion as he might be vigilent and inflexible. He was first placed as a subordinate, and shortly after as a principal watchman; in which situation he was diligent, sober, and impartial; and had rendered himself so eminently serviceable, that the Governor resolved to draw him from the line of convicts; and with the instrument of his emancipation, he received a grant of thirty acres of land in an eligible situation near Paramatta. He was afterwards sworn in as a peace officer. Here was not only a reward for past good conduct, but an incitement to a continuance of it; and Barrington found himself through the Governor's liberality, though not so absolutely free as to return to England at his own pleasure, yet enjoying the immunities of a free man, a settler, and a civil officer, in whose integrity much confidence was placed."

On the 13th, the Royal Admiral sailed for Canton. Of the private speculation brought out in this ship, they sold at Sydney and at Paramatta to the amount of 3600l. and left articles to be sold on commission to the amount of 750l. more.

On the 18th, the Kitty transport anchored in the Cove, from England, this vessel seemed particularly unfortunate, for the colony at least. She sailed twice from England, on first sailing she had on board 10 male and 30 female convicts, but a leak obliging her to put back to Spithead, eight of the 10 male convicts escaped, and when her cargo was landed, the flour was damaged, and a quantity of iron pots, of which the colony was in the greatest want, were either cracked or broken. In this ship arrived two chests of dollars, amounting to 1001l. These were sent for the use of Government, and became a very convenient species of circulating currency. The brick hospital at Paramatta, consisting of two wards, was finished this month. On Tuesday, the 11th of December, the Atlantic being prepared for the reception of the Governor, his Excellency quitted the colony, having faithfully discharged the trust which his Majesty had reposed in him; and with him embarked cheerfully two natives, Bennillong, and Yem-mer-ra-wan-nic, two men attached to his person.



ON Governor Phillip leaving the island, land had been granted to settlers, amounting to 3470 acres, of which 417½ acres was cultivated, and the timber was cleared from 100 acres more, and 1012¾ acres only was cleared and in cultivation on the public account, which shews, that a small number of convicts, working on their own accounts, effected more good than the whole body did while labouring for government; but as so much was got in a proper state for cultivation, it foretold, that at no very distant date, the colony would be able to support itself, without assistance from the mother country. Previous to his departure, Governor Phillip gave to each married settler from the convicts, and to every settler from the marines and from the Sirius, a ewe for breeding, and to others such goats as could be spared. These liberal presents, which might have been productive of such great comfort to these people, where however soon offered for sale, and had not the officers bought them, a few days would have put out of existence, a stock which had been procured with emense trouble, and great expense. The Government of the country was now invested in Francis Grose, Esq. Major-Commandant of the New South Wales corps, who adopted military instead of civil officers; it was not obvious why this alteration was, made, as no evil had resulted hitherto from the departments being filled by civil officers; but probably it might arise from Governor Grose, being a military man. Early in December, an American ship, the Hope, Page, master, from Rhode Island, arrived, who said he put into the cove, for wood and water, but more probably to sell a cargo he had on board of provisions and spirits, of which was purchased to the amount of 2957l 6s. 6d. Of the regulations made by the new Governor, were the dispensing with the officer's guard, and differing the time of labour to the convicts, so as to allow them more time for then selves. The weather during December was excessively hot, and the wind blew from the Northward of West; and to add to the heat of the atmosphere, the natives set fire to the grass, and for a great distance the country was in flames. The thermometer, in the shade, rose above an hundred degrees. At Paramatta and Toongabbe, (a place beyond Paramatta,) the country was on fire, and a spark from a tree which was burning, fell upon a thatched hut, in which some people, lived belonging to Mr. Arndell, it caught fire, and was with the outhouses, and 30 bushels of wheat, consumed in a few minutes. In this year death caused a decrease in the colony of 482 persons. January the 16th, 1793, the Bellona transport anchored in the Cove, from England, with a cargo of stores and provisions for the colony, 17 female convicts, and five settlers with their families; among the stores were five pipes of port wine, some rum, and 3000lbs. of tobacco; and it was very much to be lamented, that a large quantity of the most useful articles in the cargo were spoilt. On the 18th a melancholy accident took place; the wife of Williams, a settler, with a child, and the wife of a man named Green, had been drinking with Williams and others, at Sydney, and were going in a small boat to Paramatta, with a bag of rice belonging to Green, and as some water got to it, she endeavoured to move the bag, and in the attempt overset the boat, when both women and the child were drowned. Williams and his wife were remarkable for vileness; just before entering the boat they fought, and she had imprecated every evil to befall her if she returned to Paramatta with her husband. The child was taken from its mother's arms as she stink, but for want of aid in time it died. The two women were found in a few days, and Williams buried his wife and child within a few yards of his own door, and to complete the measure of his iniquity, but a few days after, he was sitting at his door with a bottle of rum, drinking one glass and pouring another on the grave, till it was all gone, declaring at each libation how well she loved it when alive. The settlers who came out in the Bellona having fixed on their ground in February, it was marked out, and they took possession, giving their farms collectively the name of "Liberty Plains" as they were all free settlers but one, which was Walter Rouse, a very good man, by trade a bricklayer.

Government having given its assent, the officers made choice of some land at Paramatta, and some in parts of the harbour, for their own cultivation; each officer was allowed the use of 10 convicts, and as they entered vigorously into cultivation, and being allowed to pay the convicts in spirits, for working, in that time which belonged to themselves, they got on prodigiously fast. The Bellona sailed on the 19th for Canton, previous to which, the master was suffered to take on board, two convicts whose terms had expired, and to prevent any getting off without leave of the Government, the master permitted the ship to be smoked, which produced four convicts who had found means to get secreted on board. At length room was found wanting for the stores, an event which had never occurred before, so that it was an object of novelty and wonder. On the 25th of February, 1793, the Shah Hormuzear, Bampton, from Calcutta, with a cargo on speculation to this country, it consisted of live-stock, wine, iron, copper, canvas, of the best qualities, and offered at such prices as rendered them acceptable On the 13th of March two Spanish ships anchored in the harbour. These two ships were on a voyage of discovery from Spain, and were expected to put in here, as Government sent out orders so long ago as 1790, to treat the officers of this expedition with every attention. They were called the Descuvierta and Atrevida, (the Discovery and Intrepid,) the former commanded by Don Alexandro Malaspina, commander of the expedition, and the latter by Bon Jose' de Bustamante y Guevra. They requested permission to build an observatory near the point of the Cove, on which the hut was built for Bennillong, which hut they used as a magazine for their instruments. The presence of these strangers, afforded a pleasing variety to the uniformity of occurrences at Sydney. On the 21st, returned the Kitty from Norfolk Island, whither she had been with provisions, and Governor King, returned by her, many of such characters, as he had reason to believe would occasion him trouble; and he stated in his dispatches, that the harvest of wheat and maize had proved so prolific, that he had enough for twelve months. The people were healthy, and not one offence had been committed, deserving punishment, for three months.

The master of the Shah Hormuzear, having submitted proposals for procuring live-stock, an agreement was entered into for that purpose, and Bengal settled to be the place from whence they should come, as well as some provisions, for which purpose he quitted the Cove on the 19th of April, in company with the Chesterfield, having to carry, in conjunction with that ship, provisions and stores to Governor King, at Norfolk Island, which, with what he had already sent him, made enough for twelve months, but as a signal for a strange sail was made, both ships waited to know the event. The next day, the Dædalus store-ship, Lieut. Hanson, from America, arrived; she left England with a cargo of provisions for the use of the vessels under Capt. Vancouver, and instead of bringing the settlement any material relief, they wanted assistance, for she was to join Capt. Vancouver at Nootka, or some of the Sandwich Islands, in the following October. Lieut. Hanson touched at New Zealand, and brought two natives, both young men, from that country, to instruct the inhabitants of Norfolk Island in the manufacture of the flax-plant; they arrived in time to go in the Shah Hormuzear; they were put on board just before Mr. Bampton's ship sailed, which, alas! never returned, as she became leaky and was run on shore and scuttled in New Zealand.* On the 12th of April, between 5 and 6 in the evening, an appearance was observed in the North West part of the sky, and seemed like a ray of forked lightning, had been stationary in the sky for a quarter of an hour, but was not discernable after the sun set. On a survey, made the latter end of May, it appeared, that the officers who turned their attention to cultivation, had cleared and cultivated 233 acres, and had cut down wood from 219 acres more; every settler had added to his kinds, and was approaching towards the station of an independant farmer; the grounds of government had received no addition whatever since the departure a of Governor Phillip, since when 1575 acres had been granted, 830 of which lay between Paramatta and Sydney, the Lieutenant-Governor wishing to make a chain of farms from one settlement to the other.

[* The shocking sufferings of several of those on board, will be found in the European Magazine for May and June 1797.]

On the 1st of June, the Kitty, which had undergone considerable repairs, hauled into the Cove, and would have sailed the next morning, but a mutiny was discovered, which required the presence of the Lieutenant-Governor and the military to quell, and the next day three seamen were taken from her, and replaced by two convicts and a seamen. Provisions now began to get very short, and a decrease in the ration was become requisite, but the Lieutenant-Governor wishing to retard the evil day, proposed staying one more week, previous to carrying into effect the deduction. On the next Monday the Britannia returned, after an absence of eight months; at the Cape of Good Hope she took on board 30 cows, 3 mares, and 12 goats, with a quantity of flour, sugar, tobacco, and spirits; but though the greatest attention was paid to the live stock, 29 cows and 3 goats died. This afforded another instance of the great difficulty in bringing live-stock to the colony; which will be still more evident by the following statement:

Embarked at various times for the colony, 15 bulls, 119 cows, and 6 calves. Lost on their passage, 12 bulls, 91 cows, and 1 calf.
Landed, 3bulls, 28 cows, and 5 calves.

Of horses, sheep, and hogs, a considerably larger portion were landed safe, and it was imagined the mortality, among the black cattle arose from their being taken from the field, and being embarked, previous to being accustomed to dry victuals. The natives now became troublesome, by lurking into the woods and fields between the settlements, and robbing the convicts of their clothing and provision as they passed; and as they wounded two or three, an armed party was sent against them to discharge small shot at them, but to take no life. But some on the contrary resided at the settlement, and mixed with the inhabitants without reserve, and were hired by many to collect fire-wood, or faring water from the tanks, and esteemed themselves well paid for the trouble, by an old worn out jacket, trowsers or a bit of bread, indeed they wood beg for the latter with the greatest earnestness, being particularly fond of it.

On the 1st of July, the Dædalus sailed to join Capt. Vancouver, and was suffered to take, six convicts and two seamen to complete her number of hands, and a native embarked, whom the Lieutenant-Governor sent for the purpose of learning the English language; his native name was Gnung-a-gnung-a Mur-re-mur-gan, but he was universally called "Collins", after the Judge-Advocate. He was of a very mild disposition, and readily undertook the voyage. On Saturday, the 6th of July, the ration was reduced 1lb. of pork. A church was now began, 73 feet by 15; it was to be composed of strong posts, wattles, and plaster, and to be thatched. As spirits continued to be made an improper use of, the Lieutenant-Governor made known, that any person selling them, without a licence would have it seized, and their houses pulled down. This month the wheat sown on the public account was got in. On the 24th, the vessel (now called the Francis) brought out in frame by the Pitt, was got afloat, and as it was understood that several persons had an idea of effecting their escape in her, every precaution was taken, that none but trustworthy persons should be employed on board.

On the 7th of August, the Boddingtons' transport, from Cork, arrived with 124 male and 20 female convicts of Ireland on board, and nine months' provisions for them. Advice came by this ship, that another, the Sugar-Cane, might be shortly expected. On Sunday, the 25th of August, divine service was performed in the church.

In September, the settlers were enabled to sell to government 1200 bushels of Indian corn, at 5s. per bushel, which was the price paid to all. On Sunday, the 8th, the Britannia and Francis sailed for Dusky Bay. On Tuesday, the 17th, the Sugar-Cane arrived, with 110 male and 50 female convicts. In the course of the voyage a mutiny was discovered, and one convict found without his irons was executed, which prevented any more mischief. This ship brought for the colony

31,496 lbs. of beef,
45,440 lbs. of pork,
64,512 lbs. of flour,
44 tons of limestone,
17 bales and 5 cases of clothing
and necessaries.

The Boddingtons' and Sugar-Cane both sailed on the 13th. A mill for grinding corn was invented by a convict named Wilkinson, which was found to answer so well, that the Lieutenant-Governor ordered the artificers and a gang of convicts from Paramatta to assist in making one, under Wiliamson's directions, on a larger scale. A warrant of emancipation passed the great seal for 23 convicts, on condition of their entering into the New South Wales corps. From Paramatta information was received, that four people, in the night of the 15th, broke into the house of a settler, (John Randall,) with their faces and hands blackened, where with bludgeons, they nearly murdered two men who lived with him, and but for the activity and resistance of these two, they would have effected their intentions; and the same account said, that seven of those lately from Ireland had absconded to the woods. On the 26th, a box belonging to John Sparrow, (a convict,) by trade a watchmaker, was broke open at the hospital, and three watches stolen, one of which belonged to an officer, who had employed Sparrow to repair it, and an old man at the hospital was at the same time robbed of eight guineas and some dollars, which he had saved to pay his passage home. In a storm, on the 26th, two boys ran to a tree for shelter, and the next morning were found dead, being killed by lightning, and they were buried in one grave. This was the first accident of the kind which had happened in the colony. On the 29th, the Fairy American Snow, arrived from Boston, in New England, and was to proceed to the North-West coast of America. On Thursday, November 7th, the Francis returned from Dusky Bay. On Saturday, the 23d of November, the first wheat issued from the store, and the produce of the country was delivered, and for the first week, great inconvenience was sustained to get it ground, but other mills were erected, and this evil was of no long duration. The wheat sown in April was this month reaped and got in, which the Lieutenant-Governor agreed to buy of all settlers to whom it belonged, at 10s. per bushel. Guilty ignorance, every ready to cherish erroneous notions, of escaping that punishment which it deserves, by some flaw in the administration of justice, offered to the minds of the convicts a curious idea, which was, that the Lieutenant-Governor, had not the power of ordering a sentence of death to be executed, so that it became requisite, to let them see the contrary, which was done in executing John Crow, who was convicted some time before, but had been respited twice. In a storm, on the 6th of December, a boat which came from Paramatta with corn, filled with water which ran off the wharf, and sunk, by which 280 bushels of Indian corn and a few of wheaten meal were lost, except to the natives, who were so fond of it that many lived and brought up considerable quantities. Spirits gained such an ascendency over the weak minded, that they refused anything else in payment for labour while they were to be obtained, and several officers' servants stole them from their masters. Sydney had now increased, since Governor Phillip quitted it 160 huts and 5 barracks. Towards the close of December, a party of natives attacked several settlers, and taking all their provisions, fled to the woods.

Passage boats were allowed now to go from Sydney to Paramatta. These were the property of convicts who had served their time; the fare was one shilling for each person, and all luggage was paid 1s. per cwt. for. In the year 1793, there died 7 soldiers, two settlers, 78 male convicts, 26 female convicts, and 29 children; and with accidents, &c. the decrease was 153 persons.


Amidst the variety of crimes continually committed in New South Wales by the convicts, murder had hitherto been excluded, but on the 5th of January, 1794, an elderly man, whose name was Lewis, that went to watch the cattle, was shockingly murdered. His body was found a few days afterwards in a hollow, covered with logs, boughs, and grass; the hands, and flesh of one arm, had been torn off by the native dogs. This poor fellow, unfortunately, had boasted of having saved some money, and had sewed it in his clothes to prevent losing it, should his hut be robbed while he was out. The body was brought in and buried at Paramatta, but no discovery could be made of who murdered the poor man. Likewise on the 5th, the Francis sailed for Norfolk Island, the Lieutenant-Governor, becoming anxious to know the state of that settlement. On an account being taken of the salt provisions at Sydney and Paramatta, only enough was found to last for 10 weeks, at the ration of 8lbs. per week for a man. One of the men employed by the officers to shoot game, having caught three kangaroo's brought two in, and said he cut the other up for the dogs, when in fact he had sold it to one Lane, a man who had been a convict. To prevent thefts, the best way is certainly to punish receivers, for without them there would be no temptations. Under this idea, the Lieutenant-Governor ordered Lane to have 100 lashes, to be dependant on the store for provisions, and sent to Toongabbe to labour. Notwithstanding the great crops of corn gathered by the settlers, only 160 bushels were offered to government, though it was ascertained that at least 7000 bushels of wheat alone had been produced. Some kept it for distilling and brewing, while others paid debts, contracted by gaming with it; for the last indeed, some had gone so far as to lose their farms, and others absolutely losing their clothes off their backs, went naked. Ruse, the first settler, and one Williams, having imprudently sold their farms, and spent the money they produced, gained permission to begin new ones, about 24 miles from Paramatta, with some others who were about settling. On the 12th of February, the Francis returned from Norfolk Island. The accounts from Governor King were highly satisfactory, the harvest, which was abundant, was all got in, and every store in such plenty as seemed to defy any idea of future want; the people were all in good health, and the live-stock increasing rapidly. The two natives of New Zealand, sent by the Shah Hormuzear, answered the purpose so well, that though Governor King had few hands and bad materials, a quantity of canvas was manufactured weekly; but the New Zealanders, having shewn great anxiety to return home, Governor King thought the Britannia's calling at Norfolk Island a favourable opportunity, and embarked with a guard and the two natives for New Zealand*, leaving Capt. Nepean (who was on his return, to Europe by the Britannia), as Governor in his absence. The passage was short, for on the 4th day the natives were landed among some of their friends, and on the 10th day, Governor King returned to Norfolk Island; and the second day after the Britannia again sailed. Ten of the New South Wales corps, were sent to Sydney from Norfolk Island for mutinous conduct, and after a trial of five days were found guilty, but recommended to mercy. The offence committed, was owing to a jealousy which had arisen between the soldiers and free men, settlers and others, occasioned by some acts of violence and improper behaviour on both sides, which broke out one evening, at a place the Lieutenant-Governor had permitted plays to be represented by the convicts. Mr. King, who was present, thought it necessary to order one of the soldiers into confinement. When the play was ended, the detachment repaired to their commanding officer, and demanded the release of their comrade; on his declaring his inability to comply with such request, they signified a resolution to release him themselves; upon which the officer remonstrated with them, and they dispersed. On the following morning, when the Lieutenant-Governor was made acquainted with the circumstances, he convened all the officers in the settlement, and laid before them what he had heard, together with an account of a determination among the soldiers, to release from the halberts any of their comrades who should be ordered punishment, for any offence or injury done to a settler; all of which he caused to be authenticated upon oath. The result of the officers was, that the detachment should be disarmed, and all those settlers from the marines and Sirius's ship's company, should be embodied and armed as a militia to do their duty. This was put in execution on the 21st, by sending the detachment from their quarters unarmed, upon different duties; while the new-raised militia took possession of their arms. On their return, twenty were selected as mutineers to be sent to Sydney, the remainder returning to their duty immediately (but of that number ten were, after a few days confinement, pardoned and liberated); and two days after the Francis appeared. At the conclusion of February, the natives again caused great trouble, robbing and doing every kind of mischief, and though they kept in the woods near the settlements, and generally murdered all the white people they could, yet so great was the dread of labour to many of the convicts, that they absconded continually to the woods, thus shewing that they preferred death to work. On the last day of delivering provisions for February (the 22d), it was found, that if some did not arrive in a fortnight, there would not be an ounce left. Thus situated nothing was neglected. The Shark was even found of service, and the oil produced from the liver of it sold at 1s. per quart; candles were a luxury in the colony which few could boast of. The Indian corn was now nearly ripe, and as the seed wheat, was yet held sacred, it was hoped that the Indian corn would be ready in time to prevent such a fatal resource; for the stock of seed wheat, even if added to all the live-stock, could last but a short time for so many as 3000 people. Providentially the very day that the last provisions were delivered from the store, the 8th of March, a signal of a vessel in sight was made, but by great wind and stormy weather, it was the 10th when she anchored in the Cove, and proved to be the William, Folger, of London, last from Cork, with a cargo of 1173 barrels of beef, and 907 of pork, but no flour. At the same time arrived the Arthur, a small brig of 95 tons, from Bengal, with beef, pork, sugar, rum, and calicos. In consequence of these fortunate arrivals, the full ration was ordered to be delivered, and the short allowances, as promised, made good, Distress which had never yet encreased the morality of the convicts, now shewed that the love of gaming could keep its ascendency over even hunger itself. Of those adicted to gaming, one was an overseer, who giving offence to some of the convicts, they formed a plan to strip him, the first time they knew he had any considerable sum about him; when engaged at play, a party rushed on him just as he had won 25 dollars, and this at once secured them, but he seized one with 10 dollars in his hand, which was all he recovered. The overseer confessed, that it was owing to gaming only, that he became a convict; thus, though under punishment for the effects, he still retained a determination to practice the great cause, of all evils which attended him. On the 3d of April, the Dædalus, store-ship, anchored from the North-West coast of America. The native who went out in this ship, returned without acquiring much of our language, but he had rendered himself particularly esteemed by every body in the ship. The Arthur sailed on the same day as the Dædalus arrived, and the Francis came in the next day from Norfolk Island. The good order which reigned in Norfolk Island had rendered keeping the settlers together as a militia, unnecessary. The natives continually visited those parts where the corn was nearly ripe, and in such numbers, that it was found requisite for the watchmen to fire on them, and this order produced many tales from the men about the natives coming in great numbers, and the valour of those who drove them away; they were at length given no credit to, so in a few days a watchman brought in the head of one native he had shot. On the 24th. of May, the Indispensable, store-ship, arrived from England; she was the first of six or seven ships that were to bring out a supply of stores, provisions, and clothes for twelve months, for the colony, in consequence of which a full ration was ordered to be delivered; viz. 8lbs. of flour, 7lbs. of beef, or 4lbs. of pork, and three pints of Indian corn, of which latter article government had bought, of the settlers and others 6163¼ bushels. The Britannia returned on the 1st of June, whose arrival had been anxiously expected. The length of her absence was accounted for by her being forced to go to Batavia instead of Bengal, as she was attacked in the Straits of Malacca, by a fleet of piratical prows, from which she escaped after an engagement of six hours. The Britannia brought 250 casks of beef, 250 casks of pork, 500 pecols of sugar, and 55 coyangs of rice. On the 8th of June, arrived the Speedy, store-ship. On the 14th the Halcyon, from Rhode Island, with a cargo of beef, pork, spirits, tobacco, tea and nankeens, on speculation. The time was now arrived when the colony wore a very comfortable appearance; the stores were filled with provisions, and five ships on the seas with a still greater abundance, a stock rapidly increasing, and a crop of corn on the ground, which promised to realize the fond hope, of New South Wales becoming independent of the mother country for grain. On the 5th of July, the Hope arrived from Rhode Island, with provisions and spirits. The spirits were bought, but the provisions no one would buy. This was the first instance of a vessel bringing provisions without being able to dispose of them. The Indispensable and Halcyon sailed on the 8th to complete their voyages to Bengal and Canton. On the 9th arrived the Fancy, with a cargo of rice and dholl. In July a building of four cells, for solitary confinement was added to the guard-house on the East side of the Cove. On the 28th, the Francis returned from Norfolk Island, whither she had been sent to inform Governor King that supplies would speedily be sent him; who in return sent information, that the harvest had been prodigiously productive; that he had purchased 11000 bushels of maize of the settlers, for the amount of which he had drawn bills, but the Lieutenant-Governor thinking it not requisite to put such an expense on the crown, declined accepting the bills till he had the approbation of government. On the 1st of September, the Britannia sailed, for the second time on a voyage of speculation, on account of the officers, to the Cape of Good Hope, for live-stock and other articles. On the 10th, arrived from England, the Resolution; and on the 11th the Salamander, both freighted with provisions and stores for the colony. The heavy weather they had met with, considerably damaged the ships and stores. By those vessels came intelligence, that John Hunter, Esq. was appointed Governor of New South Wales, instead of Capt. Phillip, who had resigned, and was rewarded by a pension of 500l. per annum. How highly to the credit of government would it be, if pensions were granted to all those who equally deserve them, and withheld from those who do not. Some of the ignorant Irish convicts, this month seized a boat, but after an absence of some time, landed at Botany Bay, which led to their detection of course. On the 17th, a dreadful accident happened at Paramatta; a building in which was 2400 bushels of maize caught fire, and was consumed with a number of fine hogs. In the course of September, it became requisite to treat the natives with severity. A settler, and his servant, at Hawkesbury, were nearly murdered by the natives who stole on them so privately, as not to be discovered, till they had got so near as to prevent their getting assistance. A few days after, the natives attacked some others, and carried off every thing they could find; but the settlers collectively followed, with arms, and killed eight on the spot. The Dædalus sailed, for Norfolk Island, on the 26th, with provisions and stores, and the wives of Bennillong and his companion, who wished to withdraw from the other natives, till the return of Bennillong and his companion from England. On the 29th, the Fancy sailed. In the beginning of October, John Bevan, a most daring fellow, was caught in the act of house-breaking, he was tried on the first, and executed on the sixth; the evening before which, a murder was perpetrated by one Hill, a butcher, on the body of Simon Brown, a settler, who he owed an animosity. It appeared on the trial, that Hill, and a woman he lived with, had quarrelled, when she to avoid a beating, flew to an empty house followed by Hill, and poor Burn to prevent Hill from beating her, interfered, on this the rascal Hill, stabbed him to the heart, of which wound he died in an hour. Hill the fiend of iniquity, was executed on the 16th, and dissected.

[* The following account of the Flax Manufactory, on the New Zealanders leaving Norfolk Island, can hardly prove unacceptable:

Not more than nine men and nine women could be employed in preparing and manufacturing the flax, which barely kept them in practice. There was only one loom on the island, and the slay or reed designed for coarse canvas; nor did they possess a single tool required by flax-dressers or weavers, beyond the poor substitutes which they were obliged to fabricate themselves. If there had been proper slays or reeds, brushes, and other articles indispensably necessary for flax-dressing and weaving, with more people to work the flax and a greater number of weavers, this island might soon require very little assistance in clothing the convicts; but for want of these necessary articles, the only cloth that could be made was a little canvas something finer than No. 7, which is thought to be equally strong and durable as that made from European flax.

This useful plant needs no cultivation. An experiment has been made to cultivate it, and answered extremely well; but the produce was not so much superior to that growing in a natural state as to make it advisable to bestow any pains on its culture.

Before the arrival of the two New Zealanders, no effectual progress had been made in its manufacture; nor was it without much intreaty that these visitors were induced to furnish the information required. And indeed, as this work is principally performed by the women in New Zealand, they were by no means competent to give the fullest instructions. Sufficient however was obtained from them to improve upon. Since that time those women that could be spared from other work, not exceeding from six to twelve, had been employed in preparing the flax; and a flax-dresser, weaver, and three other assistants, in manufacturing it into canvas, rope, &c.

When the leaves are gathered, the hard stalk running through the centre is taken out with the thumbnail; and the red edges of the leaf are also stripped off. The two parts are then separated in the middle, making four slips of about three-quarters of an inch wide, and the length of from eighteen inches to three or four feet. These slips are cut across the centre with a muscle-shell, but not so deep as to separate the fibres, which is the flax. The slips thus prepared are held in the left hand, with the thumb resting on the upper part of the slip just above the cut. The muscle-shell held in the right hand is placed on the upper part just below the cut, with the thumb resting on the upper part. The shell is drawn to the end of the slip, which separates the vegetable covering from the flaxen filaments. The slip is then trimmed, and the same operation is performed on the remaining part, which leaves the flax entire. If it be designed for fishing lines, or other coarse work, nothing more is done to it; but if intended for cloth, it is twisted and beaten for a considerable time in a clear stream of water; and when dried, twisted into such threads as the work requires. Instead of working it as soon as gathered, our people found it work better for being placed in a heap in a close room for five days or a week, after which it became softer and pleasanter to work. They also found it easier, and more expeditious, to scrape the vegetable covering, from the fibres, which is done with three strokes of a knife. It is then twisted, and put into a tub of water, where it remains until the day's work is finished. The day following it is washed and beaten in a running stream. When sufficiently beaten it is dried, and needs no other preparation, until it is hackled and spun into yarn for weaving.

The numbers employed at this work were as follow;

Invalids gathering the flax      3 men;
Preparing it  7 women;
Beating and washing it  3 who are invalids;
Flax-dresser  1
Spinners  2 women;
Weaver and assistant  2 men;
Total,    18;

by whose weekly labour sixteen yards of canvas of the size of No. 7 was made. It is to be remarked, that the women, and most of the men, could be employed at no other work; and that the labour of manuring and cultivating the ground; the loss of other crops; the many processes used in manufacturing the European hemp, and the accidents to which it is liable during its growth, are all, by using this flax, avoided, as it needs no cultivation, and grows in sufficient abundance on all the cliffs of the island (where nothing else will grow) to give constant employment to five hundred people. Indeed, should it be thought an object, any quantity of canvas, rope or linen, might be made there, provided there were men and women, weavers, flax-dressers, spinners, and rope-makers, with the necessary tools; but destitute as our people were of these aids, all that could be done was to keep in employ the few that could be spared from other essential work.]

The settlers at Hawkesbury, now seemed to require some person of authority to be present, for an account was received, that the natives were urged to their late depredations, by an act of cruelty, to a native boy, whom the settlers had tied hands and feet together, and dragging him several times through a fire, threw him into a river and then shot him, this they in part acknowledged, but assigned as the cause that the boy had been sent among them as a spy. In the evening of the 25th, arrived the Surprize transport from England, with 60 females 23 males, and some few stores and provisions, among these convicts were Mess. Muir, Palmer, Skirving and Margarot, convicted in Scotland for sedition. On the 23d of November, the Dædalus returned from Norfolk Island. Several whose sentences had expired, and ten settlers who gave up their farms in consequence of their bills for corn not being honoured, had now entered into the New South Wales corps, arrived in this vessel.

The Lieutenant-Governor meaning to quit the country by the Dædalus, proper preparations were made, which being completed the Lieutenant-Governor with Mr. White, Mr. Laing, three soldiers, two women, and nine men, embarked. On the 15th, before the departure of the Lieutenant-Governor, those convicts under confinement were released, and allotments of land made to those who wished it. During December, a farm of 25 acres was sold by auction for 13l. The frequent failures of those who attempted to escape from the colony, either by stealing boats or going to the woods, by no means lessened the desire of others, though seldom many days expired without their returning themselves, or being taken and brought back. On the 24th arrived the Experiment Snow, front Bengal, with a few provisions, spirits, sugar and piece-goods, on speculation. On the departure of Lieutenant-Governor Grose, the government devolved on Captain William Paterson, of the New South Wales corps. The loss by death in 1794, was only 59 persons.


In January, 1795, the attention was turned to preparing the ground for wheat. The Indian corn, which was now ripening about Hawkesbury, promised at least 30,000 bushels of that grain. Some of the young natives, who lived among the settlers became so useful, that they would in three or four hours do as much work as was allotted to a convict for a day's work. At this time the heavy rains swelled the river Hawkesbury to such a degree, that considerable damage was done to the crops of the settlers and government. A bridge at Paramatta, was swept away by the torrent. No doubt now remained of the bad conduct of some of the settlers toward the natives. In revenge they threatened to put to death three of the settlers, Doyle, Forester, and Nixon; and had actually attacked and wounded two other settlers, Shadrech and Akers, whose farms and persons they mistook for those of Doyle and Forester's. These particulars were procured through the means of one Wilson, a very wild young man, who, his term of transportation being expired, preferred living among the natives in the vicinity of the river, to earning the wages of honest industry by working for settlers. He had formed a strange medley language between his own and theirs, with which he made shift to comprehend something of what they wished him to communicate; for they did not conceal the sense they entertained of the injuries which had been clone to them. The tribe with whom Wilson associated had given him a name, Bun-bo-é. As the gratifying a wandering disposition was the sole object with Wilson in herding with these people, no good consequence was likely to ensue from it. Mr. Grimes purposed taking him with him in the schooner to Port Stephens.

There were at this time, several convicts in the woods subsisting by theft; and it being said, that three had been met with arms, it became necessary to secure them as soon as possible. Watchmen and other people immediately went out, and in the afternoon of the 14th, a fellow of the name of Suffini was killed by them. This circumstance drove the rest to a greater distance from Sydney, and they were reported, some days afterwards, to have been met on their route to the river. Suffini would not have been shot at, had he not refused to surrender when called to by the watchman while in the act of plundering a garden.

About the latter end of the month the natives adjusted some affairs of honour near the brick-fields. The people who live about the South shore of Botany Bay brought with them a stranger of an extraordinary appearance and character; his name was Gòme-boak. He had been several days on his journey from the place where he lived, which was far to the southward. In height he was not more than five feet two or three inches; but he was by far the most muscular, square, and well-formed native ever seen. He fought well; his spears were remarkably long, and he defended himself with a shield which covered his whole body. He engaged with some of the Sydney natives, and it was observed, that neither their persons or reputation suffered any thing in the contest. When the fight was over, our officers praising the martial talents of this stranger, the very great strength of his arm, and the excellence of his sight, they admitted the praise to be just (because when opposed to them, he had not gained the slightest advantage); but unwilling that they should think more highly of him, than themselves, with distorted features they assured the officers, that Gòme-boak was a cannibal, well knowing that alone would disgust them with him.

On the 1st of March, the Francis returned from Port Stephens. Mr. Grimes reported that he went into two fresh-water branches, up which he rowed, and at no very great distance from the entrance, he found them terminate in a swamp. He described the land on each side as low and sandy, and had seen nothing while in this harbour, which in his opinion could render a second visit necessary. The natives were so unfriendly, that he made but few observations on them. He thought them both a taller and a stouter race of people than those about this settlement, and their language was entirely different. Their huts and canoes were something larger than those which we had seen here; but their weapons the same. They welcomed him on shore with a dance, joining hand in hand, round a tree, probably to express their unanimity; one of them after this, drawing Mr. Grimes into the wood, poised a spear, and was op the point of throwing it, when he was prevented by young Wilson, who Mr. Grimes took with him: he had followed Mr. Grimes with a double-barrelled gun, and now levelling at the native, he fired it. He was supposed to be wounded, for he fell; but rising again, he attempted a second time to throw the spear, and was again prevented by Wilson. The effect of this second shot was supposed to be conclusive, as he was not seen to rise any more. Mr. Grimes now regained his boat without any other interruption.

The Britannia, on the 4th returned from the Cape of Good Hope. Mr. Raven, the commander, brought alive to his employers, 1 stallion, 29 mares, 3 fillies, and 12 sheep. He sailed from the Cape with 40 mares onboard; but those that died were the worst.

As salt provisions now again grew low, half the allowance of pork and beef was deducted at once; but, the same day, the Britannia was lured to go to India for provisions, and to render this deduction as light as possible, the Commissary purchased a quantity of fresh pork from the settlers, which was issued at the rate of 2lbs. of fresh, instead of 1lb. of salt. The Francis returned on the 21st, from Hawkesbury, with 1100 bushels of Indian corn, and about that time information was received overland, that the natives and settlers, had commenced open war, and that two people, a settler and a free labourer, were killed. Their depredations were managed with great art, and if that failed they made use of force, using their spears and clubs. Capt. Paterson sent an armed party, to destroy all they could meet with of this tribe. The savages in return attacked a farm belonging to William Rowe, and murdered him and a line child; his wife, after being very much wounded, crawled away, and hid herself among the rushes for some time, till assisted and carried to the hospital, when she recovered very slowly, in consequence of this, a party of soldiers were distributed among the settlers, which afforded them that protection which it would have been well had they deserved.

On the 31st of May, anchored in the Cove, the Endeavour, of 800 tons, from Bombay, under the command of Mr. Bampton, with 132 head of cattle, some rice, and all the other articles except the salted provisions contracted for by Lieutenant-Governor Grose. The Britannia sailed for India on the 18th. The usual attendants on a short ration shortly appeared; private stocks were robbed, and huts broke open; but as many were caught, a rascal, to prevent that detection he would probably meet with, if he broke into a hut, hit upon a new plan; he stole a greyhound, which he killed, and sold to the hungry for kangaroo, at nine-pence per pound. The Providence, of 28 guns, Capt. Broughton, from England, arrived, she had been driven Northward as far as Port Stephens, where Capt Broughton found and took on board four miserable objects of men, who had escaped from Sydney, in 1790, and from the wretched boat which they stole, every one thought they must have been drowned. The tale they told furnished amusement to gaping crowds for some days; it seemed that having made Port Stephens, they lived like the savages, but the food by no means agreed with them. Each had a name and a wife given him by the natives, and two of them had children. The natives fed them, and they were considered by them as unfortunate creatures, entitled to their protection, and as they and the natives began to understand each other, they impressed on the minds of the poor savages an idea, that they were the spirits of their ancestors, and one poor native so truly believed it, that he seemed to recognize the features of his father in one of the convicts, and took him to the place where his father was burnt. The Fancy arrived on the 3d of September, from Norfolk Island, where plenty abounded; 4000lbs. of pork had been salted, and the Governor offered 40 tons of salt provisions he had, and could spare to the settlement at Sydney. On the 7th of September, the Supply and Reliance arrived, the latter of which vessels, had Governor Hunter on board. His Excellency took upon him the office of Governor on the 11th, but previous to Capt. Paterson's giving up the command, he pardoned those in confinement. The first act of Governor Hunter was, to order a very exact return of the live-stock, and a particular account of every person in the country to be taken (except the military), and he advised the cultivation of Indian corn to its full extent, for the purpose of feeding the live-stock; and his Excellency accepted, those bills for corn bought at Norfolk Island, which his predecessor refused. On the 18th of September, the Fancy and Endeavour sailed for India; leave was given for 50, whose terms of transportation had expired, to quit the colony in the Endeavour, and nearly the same number quilted without leave in that one vessel, which was a serious loss. In the beginning of October, civil magistrates were substituted for military ones. On the 4th, the store-ship, Young William, anchored in the Cove, with a cargo of provisions, with which being overloaded, she was much damaged. In consequence of this supply the ration was considerably improved. On the 13th the Providence sailed for Nootka Sound; on the 16th, the Supply for Norfolk Island; and on the 29th the Young William for Canton. On the 5th of November, the Sovereign arrived laden with provisions. By this ship arrived Mr. Hibbins, as Deputy Judge-Advocate.

On the 7th, Smith and Whitehouse were tried for, and found guilty of, breaking into a house, stripping it, destroying the live-stock, and cruelly beating a servant; on the 16th they were led to execution when the Governor pardoned Whitehouse. A printing press, never before used, though brought out by Governor Phillip was now set to work, and ail orders were printed. On the 20th, the Supply returned from Norfolk Island, and brought the unpleasant intelligence, that the Lieutenant-Governor was very ill; and owing to the rats, and a weed called cow-itch, cultivation was much injured.

Several contests which had lately taken place in Sydney and its neighbourhood, among the natives, were attended by many of those who inhabited the woods, and came from a great distance inland. Some of the prisoners gathering from time to time rumours of the existence of our cattle lost in 1788, two of them resolved on ascertaining the truth of these reports, and tried by different excursions, to discover their retreat. On their return from the first, subsequent to the Governor's arrival, they reported, that they had seen them. Being, however, at that moment too much engaged in perfecting the civil regulations for the settlement, the Governor could not go to that part of the country in which where they were said to have been found; but detatched Henry Hacking. His report was so satisfactory, that on the 18th, the Governor set off from Paramatta, attended by a small party, Capt. Collins, Capt. Waterhouse, and Mr. Bass, when after travelling two days, in a direction S.S.W. from the settlement at Prospect Hill, he crossed the river named the Nepean; and to his great surprize and satisfaction, fell in with a fine herd of cattle, upwards of 40 in number, grazing in a pleasant and fertile pasturage. The day being far advanced when he saw them, he rested for the night, hoping in the morning to see the whole herd. A doubt had arisen, of their being cattle produced from what were brought from the Cape; as it was thought they might be of longer standing; the Governor thought it worth determining, and directed the attendants in the morning to procure and kill a calf. This they were not able to effect; for while lying in wait for the herd to pass (now seen to consist of upwards of sixty young and old,) they were furiously set upon by a bull, who brought up the rear, and which they killed in their own defence. This answered the purpose better perhaps than a calf, for he had all the marks of the Cape cattle when full grown, wide spreading horns, a moderate rising or hump between his shoulders, and a short thin tail Being at this time 38 miles from Paramatta, little of the meat could be sent in.

The country where they were found grazing was remarkably pleasant; every where was thick and luxuriant grass; the trees were thinly scattered, and free from underwood; several beautiful flats presented large ponds, covered with ducks and black swans, and the ground rose from these levels into gently rising hills.

Those lost in 1788, two bulls and five cows, must have travelled in a western direction until they came to the banks of the Nepean, and finding the crossing easy, they came at once into a country well-watered and stored with grass. Thus finding themselves in possession of a pasture equal to their support, and in which they remained undisturbed; and as few natives were to be seen near there, they were likely to remain for years unmolested, to propagate their species.

It was a happy circumstance to have in the woods of New South Wales a thriving herd of wild cattle. Proposals were made to bring them into the settlement; but if these had been sacrificed, in what better condition would the colony have been for having possessed a fine herd of cattle in the woods? which, as observed by Capt. Collins, "if suffered to remain undisturbed for some years, would, like the cattle of South America, always prove a market sufficient for the inhabitants of the country; and perhaps, not only for their own consumption, but for exportation. The Governor saw it in this light, and determined to guard, as much as was in his power, against any attempts to destroy them."

Discharging the store-ship, part of the cargo of which, was injured by the weather she had met with, formed the principal labour of the month, owing to the small number of working men which could be got together, the Governor was forced to order two men to be sent for this purpose from every farm having ten, till the provisions were placed in the public store.

Of the natives little had lately been seen, till the arrival of Governor Hunter, with whom Bennillong returned, who in his absence had gained a polish, which made him act with a genteel conduct to his sisters and relations, and the consequence he had acquired blazed forth in his behaviour to his mere acquaintances, indeed he seemed to arrogate to himself a superiority over his fellow countrymen, by saying he should introduce peace and love among them, and not suffer them to murder one another, and his ideas of delicacy made him offended with his sisters; at table he acted with the greatest propriety, observing every custom in genteel life. Of his dress he was particular, and indeed he appeared highly delighted with civilized life. On making inquiry for his wife, he found she had favoured a rival, but on producing a jacket and petticoat, she left her lover and followed Bennillong; however, in a day or two, the lady appeared as unadorned as usual, and Bennillong was not with her. Caruey, his rival, it was found had been beaten by Bennillong, who had learnt in England the use of his fists, which gave him an advantage Caruey by no means understood. However he gave up his false wife, and said he would make a better choice next time. Bennillong was frequently absent from the Governor, but when he returned he never came into the presence of his Excellency till he had dressed himself, for when he went on an excursion he left his clothes at home. In December a report reached Sydney, that the natives had been committing their depredations again, at some farms down the river, and on an armed party being sent out, five were killed, one wounded, and four taken prisoners. Cæsar again fled to the woods, and lived by plundering the settlers by night; however one good action he committed, which was killing a native that wounded Collins, who lived in the settlement. Poor Collins, the moment he was wounded, desired to be brought to the settlement for our surgeons to cure him, The barbed spear had been driven into his loins, and could not be extracted at the hospital; he therefore left the settlement, determined to trust to nature, nor did he trust in vain. Being seen from time to time for several weeks, walking about with the spear still unmoved; but at last information was brought to the colony that his wife had fixed her teeth in the wood and drawn it out; after which he recovered, and was able again to go into the field, His wife War-re-weer shewed by an uncommon attention her great attachment to him. The Sovereign sailed on the 27th for Bengal.

At Sydney, an attempt being made to steal a cask of pork from the pile of provisions before the store-house, the whole was removed into one of the old marine barracks.

At Hawkesbury an extraordinary phenomenon occurred. Four farms on the creek named Ruse's Creek, the crops on all of which were ripe, and prodigiously fine, were totally cut up by a fall of large flakes of ice. This memorable shower passed in a direction North-West, taking such farms as fell within its course. The effect was extraordinary; the wheat then standing was beaten down, the ears cut off, and the grain threshed out. Of the Indian corn the large thick stalks were broken, and the cobs found lying at the roots. A man who was distant from a house was glad to take shelter in the hollow of a tree. The side of the trees, on that part of the race-ground which it crossed, that were opposed to its fury, appeared as if large shot had been discharged against them. The two succeeding days were mild; notwithstanding which the ice remained on the ground as large as when it fell. Some flakes of it were found and brought in so long after as the second day, which measured from six to eight inches long, and at that time were two fingers at least in thickness.

On representing to the Governor the distress the settlers had suffered, whose farms had lain in the course of the shower, that relief was given them as their situations required.

Only 26 persons lost their lives in the year 1795, which certainly was much fewer than could be expected. Happy indeed would it be, if at the close of 1795, the settlement could be found unincumbered by those, who like other beasts of prey, sought only whom they might devour; and it is particularly distressing to observe, that the several depredations committed, were on the properties of such persons as implicated those about them as being accessaries, though in many cases unjustly no doubt. It should be considered, that when a house was to be robbed, the plunderers must be aware, that where nothing was, nothing could be got.



THE task of following the progress of the country, becomes more satisfactory by far, than in the earlier period of it. Want and its attendant horrors do not so continually intrude in the narrative. The settlement having become more established. Crimes being so generally punished, and rewards for opposite conduct uniformly bestowed, certainly together, held out a temptation much stronger to do well than otherwise: notwithstanding which, crimes of the blackest die must, it is much to be feared, for many years stain the History of New South Wales.

The Arthur anchored in the Cove from Calcutta, on the 1st of January, 1796, with a cargo of various articles, on speculation; and on the 2d, the Surprize returned from Norfolk Island, whither she had been sent to learn the state of Governor King's health, and to know if any thing was wanted at that settlement. All the information she brought was, that the Governor was still very ill.

On the 16th, a play-house was opened at Sydney, permission for which had been some time granted to a number of the well-behaved convicts. Their first performance was, "The Revenge, and the Hotel". The principal performers were Sparrow, the manager, H. Green, W. Fowkes, G. H. Hughes, W. Chapman, and Mrs. Davis. The pieces were decently played, and the house, dresses &c. had far from a contemptable appearance. When leave was given for opening the theatre, they were told, that the first impropriety would not pass unnoticed; and on the second being committed, the whole of them would be sent to another settlement. The price of admission to the gallery was 1s. paid either in money, flour, meat, or spirits, according to the market price. That opening the door of a theatre should hold out a powerful temptation to many, who had by their means, found the ready road to New South Wales, is not a wonderful thing; but contrary to the practice in England, of robbing at the theatre, they visited it only to see whose house they might plunder while they were at the play; an instance of which was brought to light on the second night of performing.

The following curious prologue was spoken at the theatre, which is certainly PARTICULARLY DESCRIPTIVE of the theatrical corps.


From distant climes, o'er widespread seas we come,
Though not with much eclat, or beat of drum.
True patriots all, for be it understood,
We left our country, for our country's good;
No private views, disgraced our generous zeal,
What urged our travels, was our country's weal;
And none will doubt, but that our emigration
Has prov'd most useful, to the British nation.
    But, you inquire, what could our breast inflame,
With this new passion for Theatric fame;
What, in the practice of our former days,
Could shape our talents to exhibit plays;
Your patience, Sirs, some observations made,
You'll grant as equal to the scenic trade.
    He, who to midnight ladders is no stranger,
You'll own will make an admirable Ranger.
To seek Mackheath we have not far to roam,
And sure in filch I shall be quite at home.
Unrivalled there, none will dispute my claim
To high pre-eminence and exalted fame.
    As oft on Gadshill we have ta'en our stand,
When 'twas so dark you could, not see your hand,
Some true-bred Falstaff we may hope to start,
Who, when well-bolster'd, well will play his part.
The scene to vary, we shall try in time
To treat you with a little pantomime.
Here light and easy Columbines are found,
And well-tried Harlequins with us abound;
From durance vile oar precious selves to keep,
We often had recourse to th' flying leap;
To a black face have sometimes ow'd escape,
And Hounslow Heath, has proved the worth of crape.
    But how, you ask, can we e'er hope to soar,
Above these scenes, and rise to Tragic lore?
Too oft, alas, we've forc'd th' unwilling tear,
And petrified the heart with real fear.
Macbeth, a harvest of applause will reap.
For some of us, I fear, have murder'd sleep;
His lady too with grace will sleep and talk,
Our females have been us'd at night to walk.
    Sometimes, indeed, so various is our art,
An actor may improve and mend his part:
"Give me a horse", bawls Richard, like a drone,
Well find a man would help himself to one.
Grant us your favour, put us to the test,
To gain your smiles we'll do our very best;
And, without dread of future Turnkey Lockits,
Thus, in an honest way, still pick your pockets.

That liberty, which had kindly been given for the performance of plays, probably led some to imagine, that it would be no difficult matter to obtain a licence to erect stills, and vend spirits, thus by legal means continue what had been a long time carrying on in private; but an intention fraught with such seriously destructive consequences, the Governor determined to suppress; and therefore issued the most positive orders to prevent any attempt of the kind, by desiring information to be given of any stills erected. The result was, that several were found and destroyed. It being thought expedient to ascertain the number of arms in the hands of individuals, an order was issued to all but the military, to bring their arms to the Commissaries, and take certificates of permission for bearing them. But out of 300 stand of arms, only 50 were brought in, which proved what was suspected, that they were got into improper hands. Cæsar, who was still in the woods, and several others, were reported to have been seen in arms, and as some of the settlers were suspected of supplying them with ammunition, they were informed that in case it should be proved, they would be implicated in the consequences of the robberies. The Ceres, store-ship, arrived on the 23d from England. The next day, the Experiment Snow from Bengal arrived, with a cargo of soap, sugar, spirits, callicos, muslins, &c. &c. On the same day arrived the ship Otter from North America, Dorr, master, who finding the market well-stocked, or coming only to enable convicts to make their escapes, he offered for sale as a favour, a small quantity of rum, wine, and tea. The natives resumed their troublesome conduct, and wounded a boatman during this month. On the 21st, the Reliance sailed for Norfolk Island. Two days afterwards, Eades, a soldier, fell from a rock and was drowned, leaving a widow and five little children, for whose benefit a night was given by the players, on the 4th of February, which produced 12l. The Marquis Cornwallis, from Ireland, anchored, on the 11th of February, in the Cove, with 233 convicts, male and female, of the country from which they came. In the voyage a plan was detected to take the ship, but was discovered and prevented; one part of the plan which the females were to execute, was to mix powdered glass with the flour used by the seamen for puddings. This ship likewise brought intelligence, that the Cape of Good Hope had surrendered to his Majesty's arms; and General Craig and Commodore Blanket, both sent official accounts of the circumstance to Governor Hunter, kindly offering any services in their power for the benefit of the settlement.

On the 15th, the black Cæsar was shot by Wimbow. This man and another, tempted by the reward of five gallons of spirits, had been for some days in quest of him. Finding his haunt, they concealed themselves all night at the edge of a brush which they perceived him enter, In the morning he came out, and looking round him saw his danger, he presented his musquet, but before he could pull the trigger Wimbow fired and shot him. They took him to the hut of Rose, a settler, at Liberty Plains, and be expired in a few hours. Thus ended a man who had given more trouble than any other convict in the settlement.

On the 18th, the Otter sailed for America. By her escaped Thomas Muir, transported for sedition, and several others whose sentences were not expired. Muir, in a letter he left said, he conceived that in withdrawing he was only asserting his freedom; and meant if he arrived in safety, to enjoy what he deemed himself to have regained of it in America, until the time should come when he might return to his own country with credit and comfort. He purposed practising at the American bar. In this country he passed his time in ease and retirement, living out of the town at a spot of ground which he had purchased.

The Abigal, another American, in a few days arrived; but as several prisoners had found an asylum in the Otter, the Governor ordered the Abigal to anchor in Neutral Bay, where he imagined the line of communication would not be so easy as in Sydney Cove. Her master, Thornton, gave out that he was bound to Manilla and Canton. For part of his cargo, however, he met with purchasers, notwithstanding the stock of articles which the late arrivals had brought in.

The frequent depredations to which the settlers on the banks of the Hawkesbury, and other places, were exposed to from the natives, called upon them, for the protection of their families, and to afford each other their assistance upon occasion of alarm, by assembling when anybody of natives were found to be lurking about their grounds; but they seldom shewed the smallest disposition to assist each other. Improvident even for their own safety and interest, they neglected the means by which all could be secured. This disposition being soon manifest, the Governor thought it necessary to issue an order, stating his expectations and directions, "that all the people residing in the different districts of the settlements, whether the alarm was on their own farms, or on the farm of any other person, should upon such occasions immediately render to each other such assistance as each man, if attacked, would himself wish to receive; and he assured them, that if it should hereafter be proved, that any settlers or other persons withdrew or kept back their assistance from those who might be threatened, or who might be in danger of being attacked, they would be proceeded against as persons disobeying the rules and orders of the settlement." Those who had fire-arms were enjoined not wantonly to fire at, or take the lives of any of the natives, as such an act would be considered as murder, and subject the offender to such punishment as the law might direct. The Governor had been informed, that two white men (Wilson and Knight) had been often seen with the natives in their excursions, and were thought to direct and assist in those depredations by which the settlers had suffered. The settlers were strictly prohibited from giving any natives encouragement to lurk about their farms.

Those natives who lived with the settlers had enjoyed the comforts of a settler's mode of living, 3nd that their friends and companions might partake, stole from those with whom they were living, or communicated such favourable opportunities as offered of stealing what they pleased.

Several who had served their term of transportation applied for permission to provide for themselves. Of these were Wilson and Knight, who preferred a vagrant life with the natives; and considering, that if taken, they would be dealt with so as to prevent their getting among their black friends again; these rascals led on the natives to every kind of mischief, explaining too clearly, of how little use a discharged musquet was. This removed that terror of fire-arms with which it had been the constant endeavour to inspire them.

As many articles were brought for sale in the Marquis Cornwallis, a shop was opened on shore, and money, or orders on the Commissary, Paymaster of the Corps, and Officers who paid companies, were taken for goods, an opportunity was now afforded to some among the privates to pass, not only counterfeit Spanish dollars and rupees, but forged notes or orders. One forged note for 10 guineas, was passed at the shop, but discovered before the recollection of the persons who offered it was effaced, though not in time to recover the property. The whole party was apprehended.

In one hot day in this month, the shrubs and brushwood about the Cove caught fire, and burnt within a few yards of the magazine. On its being extinguished, the powder was removed, on board the Supply, till security against any future accident of that kind could be erected round the building.

On the 5th of March, the Reliance returned from Norfolk Island. The harvest proved very bad this season. The corn in general was much mixed with a weed called drake; this arose from an over-eagerness to reap a golden harvest, and like most cunning people, the settlers were too cunning for themselves. Had they properly manured the land, the produce would have been prodigious. Spirits, in defiance of all orders, found their way to the neighbourhood of Hawkesbury, where the settlers were continually intoxicated. In the course of March, Capt. Paterson's store-room was entered, by a hole being made in the wall, and robbed to a great amount; and Capt. Townson's house was robbed of 60l. in dollars, and his watch; and a woman was robbed in the street of a piece of callico, for which a convict was taken up, but as she could not swear to his person, the fellow escaped that punishment he most undoubtedly deserved. The supply sailed for Norfolk Island on the 24th. Poor Bennillong having taken too much notice of Cole-be's wife, which the husband discovered, a contest ensued in which Bennillong received a wound on his upper lip that divided it, and knocked out two of his teeth. This rendered him more hideous than he was before, and his appearance before was very far from captivating.

To prevent, if possible, the indiscriminate sale of spirits which, notwithstanding all orders, prevailed, the Governor thought granting licences to a few persons, might have a proper effect. Ten selected persons had licences granted them for twelve months, by three magistrates. They were bound in penalties of 20l. and found two sureties in 10l. However from the frequent intoxication which great numbers had for some time been seen in, there was reason to suspect that a greater quantity of spirits had been landed from the different ships than permits had been obtained for. Governor Hunter, to suppress the practice of retailing spirits in this indiscriminate way, thought proper not only to grant licences under these restrictions, but desired the aid of all officers to use their exertions to end a species of traffic, from which the destruction of all industry was to be expected, and no good could result.

On the 18th, the Supply returned from Norfolk Island, after an absence of only three weeks and four days, the quickest passage too and from that island; and on the following day, the Snow, Susan Trotter, from Rhode Island. Her cargo consisted of spirits, broad-cloth, and a variety of useful articles.

On the 30th, the Indispensable transport arrived from England, with 131 female convicts, and a small quantity of provisions.

At a criminal court held this month, four prisoners were tried for forging, and uttering with a forged indorsement, the note passed at the store in February, James M'Carthy was convicted of the same, and received sentence of death; the others were acquitted. This trial had been delayed, M'Carthy having broke out of the cells, and remained for some time sheltered at the Hawkesbury.

Three were tried for stealing some articles out of a store, and James Ashford, a young lad, was found guilty. He was sentenced to seven years labour at Norfolk Island.

Two were found guilty of stealing geese, belonging to Mr. Grimes, deputy-surveyor, and sentenced to receive corporal punishment.

On the 11th of May, the Britannia, store-ship arrived from Calcutta and Madras, with salt provisions and rice, exclusive of the private property of the officers, and one mare, five cows, and a calf, brought for sale. With this ship arrived Lieut. Campbell, and Mr. Phillips, a surgeon, belonging to the Bengal army, for the purpose of raising 200 recruits from among those whose sentences of transportation had expired. This at first seemed to promise as well for the settlement, as taking weeds out of a garden; but the Governor found these gentlemen were only to accept of such as bore a good character. Such a number of such people could they have found them, being permitted to go, must have ruined the country, it would have indeed opened that way to villainy which must have rendered it ever successful, as the number who wished to counteract vile proceedings must have been considerably lessened. The Governor therefore determined not to suffer recruiting to commence for the Bengal army, till he was obliged by an order from the administration of his country. McCarthy was ordered for execution (for forgery) on the 16th, but the Rev. Mr. Johnson requested his life might be spared, as he seemed to have been the tool of others. To this request the Governor acceeded, on condition of his being kept for seven years to hard labour at Norfolk Island.

During May, several vile and daring robberies were committed, a convict who had liberty granted him to cultivate 30 acres of land, had bought a cask of provisions, from a ship in the cove, which he wished taken to a settlers near his farm; he therefore sent two men with it, who contrived that it should never reach the destination; and the house of a superintendant was broke open and robbed of property to a considerable amount. Information was given, that two run-a-ways, James M'Manus, and George Collins, were secreted in a hut near the brick fields; the consequence of which was George Collins was secured, but M'Manus escaped. The hut they were found in, was by order pulled down as a warning for others, to be cautious how they harboured such persons. The Governor having reason to suspect, that the settlers were many of them much involved, and that their crops for some time were pledged to discharge those incumbrances. He ordered an inquiry to be made, when it proved, that in the districts of the Ponds, the Field of Mars, Eastern Farms, Prospect-Hill, and Mulgrave-Place, near the Hawkesbury, the several settlers owed 5098l. Many of them were idle, drunken fellows, who gave themselves up to every vice. One man of a different description, had fortunately resisted many temptations to sell a sheep given him by Governor Phillip, was now master of 22 male and females, without buying a single one; he was an industrious man, and very attentive to his business, and thus reaped the certain reward of his exertions. On the 19th of June, the house of William Miller, a baker, was robbed of articles to the value of above 50l. principally the property of other persons; but most of the things stolen, were next morning found in a situation, evidently chosen that they might be discovered. Mr. Bass and two others went on an excursion to view the mountains and country around them, and having in their route passed over some very rich ground, they reached the highest summit, and there saw at an immense distance a large range of mountains. On the 20th, the Governor and a party went a second time to see the state of the wild cattle, during which excursion they counted 94. A boat which had been driven into a bay at Port Stephens, returned with large pieces of coal, of which they reported great quantities to be laying on the beach. On the 21st, the Francis sailed for Norfolk Island with dispatches from the Governor. Capt. Collins, as Judge-Advocate, and other Magistrates, finding great inconvenience in transacting business at their own houses, a court-house was erected. A timber carriage was this month made use of both at Sydney and Paramatta, drawn by oxen, which saved much time, and the labour of many men.

Several women were employed in haymaking, at Toongabbe, which was to be carried out by those ships, about to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope for cattle. On the 4th of July, Smith, a seaman of the Indispensable, was shot by David Lloyd, a convict servant; and at the Hawkesbury, on the same day, David Lane was shot by John Fenlow, his master. Lane expired in a few hours, but Smith languished till the 9th, and then died at the hospital. Both murderers were taken up, but Fenlow escaped, though ironed, and was not retaken till the end of the month, when some natives gave information that he was in the neighbourhood of his own farm. These enormities were productive of some regulations long wanted. Several settlers had all assistance from government withdrawn from them; others were struck off the victualling books, and all persons off the store were ordered to appear at Sydney before some of the magistrates, and receive certificates that they had served their terms of transportation, and the settlers were not allowed to employ any who had not such vouchers. This brought in many run-a-ways, who came with fictitious names, but they were detected and sent to hard labour. Live-stock was rapidly increasing at this time, and an officer about leaving the colony, sold to government a flock of 100 goats, for 490l. 10s. which enabled the Governor to perform some promises he had made of giving to several worthy settlers a number of those valuable animals.

Information was given to the Governor, that several persons were building boats without permission; notwithstanding the convenience which must attend having boats in the harbour, abuses were carried on by their means. An order was given, that no boat should be built without the Governor's permission in writing; and that all boats in the possession of individuals, should be taken to the master boat-builder, and numbered on the stern, a register of which should be kept by the provost-martial; and all boats without a number were to be seized.

The natives had been less troublesome lately than for some time. Four people of a fishing boat who had been cast on shore near Port Stephens, met with some natives who put them into a path from thence to Broken Bay, and conducted them part of the way. In this journey, these people made them understand that they had seen among the natives to the Northward, a white woman.

On the 29th, the Francis returned from Norfolk Island. The criminal court at that settlement had been assembled, and one convict suffered death for a most daring burglary, which he and two others effected with circumstances of cruelty. The accomplices were sentenced to hard labour on Phillip Island.

The gangs at this place employed in public works were seldom seen in the afternoon. It appeared that, notwithstanding the orders given tor the regulation of public labour, the superintendants had tasked the people as they thought proper. By this, the work of government was almost neglected, and the convicts time applied to the use of individuals.

To remedy this evil, the Governor informed the superintendants and overseers, that if they should be found applying to any other use the time to be employed for the public, they would be instantly dismissed.

A court of criminal judicature was assembled early in August, for the trial of several offenders on different charges.

Four were tried for a burglary in the house of William Miller, but acquitted. David Lloyd was tried for the wilful murder of John Smith, the seaman belonging to the Indispensable. It appeared, that the seamen had in a state of intoxication gone to the house, to take from a female convict (then living as a servant at Mr. Payne's, who he had cohabited with during the passage) some clothes he had given her. A riot in consequence ensued, and the prisoner endeavoured to make it appear, that he in his defence fired the pistol. The court found him guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced him to receive 600 lashes. John Fenlow was tried for the murder of his servant, David Lane. The charge was fully made out, and the prisoner received sentence of death. Four who had often broke out of prison, and run from the jail-gang, were tried as incorrigible rogues, and being found guilty, were sentenced to three years hard labour at Norfolk Island; and one man tried for a rape was acquitted. Fenlow, being tried on the Saturday, was executed on Monday, and his body delivered to the surgeons for dissection. A stone was found in his small bladder of the size of a lark's egg. The night before his execution he confessed that the murder which he committed was premeditated. The day before he was tried, he had prepared an opening through the brick wall of his cell, purposing, had it not been discovered, to have escaped after his trial.

On the 8th, the Susan sailed for Canton, in which two women and a few men were allowed to quit the colony.

A civil court was held the next day, when some who had been arrested by writs issued from the last court were brought up, several of whom being settlers, assigned their coming crops for the different sums. Had those defendants been thrown into prison, their ruin would have been certain, and the debt would as certainly have remained unsatisfied. This method was tried as being more beneficial to both; but they were in general of such a description, that even this indulgence induced them to be more worthless and thoughtless than before.

The ship, Grand Turk, anchored in the Cove on the 25d of August from Boston, in New England, with a cargo of spirits, tobacco, soap, linseed oil, iron, cloth, &c. but the speculation did not answer, as the market was over-stocked. The Supply sailed for Norfolk Island, on the 20th of September, with wheat.

The following statements of live and other stocks, on the 29th of September, places the colony in that comfortable situation, which shews the combined exertions of the officers employed in the government, had been crowned with the success they deserved.


Whose property. Mares
Cows and 
Bulls and 
 Oxen.   Sheep.   Goats.   Hogs. 
The property of]
 Government,   ]
14 67 37 46 191 111 59
Officers civil   }
  and military,  }
43 34 37 6 1310 1176 889
Total of Go-  ]
  vernment   ]
  officers,      ]
57 101 74 52 1501 1287 948
To Settlers, 30 140 921
—————— ——— ——— ——— —— —— —— ——
Totals, 57 101 74 52 1531 1427 1869

Neither the stock of poultry, which was great, or the cattle in the woods, are included in this statement; and as a proof of the value of the live-stock, it is only requisite to say, that two cows and a steer sold for 189l.


To whom belonging.
Land in
To Government, 1700
Officers civil and military, 1172
   Total of Government and Officers,     2872
To Settlers, 2547
   General Total, 5419



To last at the established ration.
Quality. Weeks. Days.
  Beef,     —     27 0
  Pork,     —     40 5
  Pease,     —     18 0
  Wheat,     —     25 0
  Maize,     —     37 3
  Sugar,     —     4 0
To consume which there were
  victualled at Sydney,
    —     2219 persons;
At Paramatta,     —     965
At Hawkesbury,     —     454
Total     —     3638

There were 321 people not on the public stores, which, added to these 3638 on the store, made 3959 persons, excluding those at Norfolk Island, which were

889  persons; who added
to 3959  persons in New South Wales;
made 4848  in New South Wales and its dependencies

The prices of various articles at Sydney, in September, viz.

Live Stock. Provisions.
Cows, 80l. Wheat per bushel, 12s.
Horses, 90l. Barley, per bushel, 10s
Sheep, 7l. 10s. Pease, ditto, 7s.
Goats, 4l. Maize ditto, 5s.
Turkeys, 1l. 1s. Ditto ground, ditto, 8s.
Geese, 1l. 1s. Cheese per lb. 3s.
Fowls, full grown, 5s. Butter, ditto, 3s.
Ducks, 5s. White-wine vinegar, per gal. 6s.
Provisions. Groceries.
Fresh Pork per lb. 1s. 3d.      Hyson Tea per lb. 1l. 4s.
Mutton, per lb. 2s. Coffee, ditto, 2s.
Goat, per lb. 1s. 6d. Sugar (soft) ditto, 1s.
Kangaroo, ditto, 6d, Soap, ditto, 2s.
Fish, 2½d. Virginia, leaf tobacco, ditto, 5s.
Eggs per dozen, 2s. Brazil, roll, ditto, 7s.
Salted Pork per lb. 1s. Black pepper, ditto, 4s.
Salted Beef, ditto, 8d. Ginger, ditto, 3s.
Potatoes per cwt. 12s. Pipes per gross, 1l. 10s.
Ditto per lb. 3d.
Flour ditto, 7½d. Wine and Spirits.
Wheat-meal, sifted, 4½d. Red Port, per bottle, 5 s.
Ditto, unsifted, 3½d. Madeira, ditto, 4s.
Wine and Spirits. India Goods.
Cape Wine, per bottle, 3s. Muslins, ditto, from 7s. to 12s.
Rum, ditto, 5s. Nankeen, per piece, 10s.
Gin, ditto, 6s. Coarse printed callicos, ditto,
Porter, ditto, 2s. Silk handkerchiefs, ditto. 12s.
Beer made at Sydney, 1s. 6d.    
English Goods.
India Goods. Black Hats from 15s. to 2l.
Long cloth per yard from Shoes, per pair, from 9s. to 13s.
   3s. to 6s. Cotton Stockings from 6s. to
Callico, ditto, from 1s. 6d. to     12s.
   2s. 6d. Writing Paper, per quire, 6s.


  l.   s.   d.
Breaking up an acre of ground,     1 0 0
Clearing an acre of ground, 3 0 0
A labourer for a day's work, 0 3 0
A carpenter for a day's work, 0 5 0
Reaping an acre of wheat, 0 10 0
Threshing a bushel of wheat, 0 1 6
Felling an acre of timber, 0 17 0
Making of mens' shoes, 0 3 6
Making of womens' shoes, 0 3 0
Making a coat, 0 6 0
Making a gown, 0 5 0

    Ground was from 12s. to 1l. an acre.

Washing 3d. for each article. A woman hired to wash for the day, 1s. 6d. and her victuals.

On the 29th of September, sailed the Reliance, Britannia, and Francis, for Norfolk Island. In the Britannia Captain Collins, the Judge-Advocate, embarked for England, and whose departure was very particularly regretted, but that gentleman, whose unremitted exertions for the good of the colony, was at all times so eminently distinguished, had the satisfaction of leaving that country, which he found on landing a mere wood, in a state highly satisfactory to his own feelings. The Supply was to join them, and the Britannia was to take on board Lieutenant-Governor King and his family, as his health still continued very considerably impaired, and Governor Hunter had granted him permission to return to England. The Reliance was to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope, and return to Port Jackson with live-stock.

When Governor King quitted Norfolk Island, the state he left that settlement in, will in the following account shew, how well he was calculated for the great trust reposed in him.

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[With respect to Governors, though it is acknowledged that Governor Macquarrie had improved upon all the plans of the Governors that preceded him; but as the absolute power they possessed, has been found prejudicial to the improving state of the colony, it has been thought fit that a council should be given him for the purpose of sharing with him in the responsibility of those measures which they may think necessary for the security or prosperity of the colony. Formerly, at the sole will of the Governor, a punishment of 500 lashes has been inflicted, and in other cases a fine of 100l. A person, too, charged with shooting at, and wounding, a native was, in March 1810, tried simply for an assault, whilst another, who had committed a similar offence against an European, was tried on the same day for his life!—Since Governor Bligh had represented to his Majesty's ministers that the inhabitants were particularly desirous that they might not be so much in the power of the military, but have some kind of justice that might bring them nearer to their brethren in Great Britain, as there were then settlers sufficient in character and numbers to furnish juries, it was wisely determined to alter the mode of administering justice in this colony. Since this period, it has also been hinted to the Governors of the settlement, that they ought not on their own account to enter into farming speculations; "his (the Governor's) salary ought to be sufficient to support him; he ought never to look to other and indirect means of enriching himself."

Other circumstances highly interesting to the readers of this work, and the public at large, may be also proper to introduce here.

In addition to an Orphan Female School, which has flourished almost from the first settlement of the colony, supported by port duties and fines, a Male Orphan School, on a similar plan, has been established. Several private schools are also open, and nothing is wanted more than a sufficient number of proper masters.

The mode of transportation has undergone many improvements. When the hulks are full up to their establishment, and the convicted offenders in the different counties are beginning to accumulate, a vessel is taken up to convey a part of them to New South Wales. A selection is made in the first instance of all the male convicts under 50 years of age, sentenced to transportation for life, or for 14 years; and if there are not a sufficiency of these, the number is filled up with those the most unruly in the hulks sentenced for 7 years, or those convicted of the most atrocious crimes. As to females, it is still customary to send, without any exception, all whose health will permit it, under 45 years of age. On the voyage a proportion of the prisoners is daily to be admitted on the decks; the sick to be visited twice a day by the surgeon, the healthy once. To render the surgeon more careful, he is now paid a gratuity of 10s. 6d. for every convict landed in New South Wales. If the conduct of the master of the vessel, too, be satisfactory, the Governor may bestow upon him a gratuity of 50l.; on the contrary, he may be fined, or liable to a prosecution. About 200 men or women are generally embarked on board one ship, with a guard of thirty men and an officer. And as a proof of this improvement in the mode of conveyance, it appears, that from the year 1795 to 1801, of 3,833 convicts embarked, 385 died on board the transports; but since 1801, of 2,398 embarked, 52 only have died on the passage, being 1 in 46. Upon the arrival of a transport at New South Whales, general orders are issued for the returns of men wanted, with the land held in cultivation by each settler. The trade, age, character, and capacity, of each convict are, as far as possible, ascertained. Persons who have been in a higher situation of life have tickets of leave given them, by which they have liberty to provide for themselves, and are exempt from all compulsory labour. Similar tickets are given to men unused to active employment, as goldsmiths and others; the remainder are distributed amongst the settlers as servants and labourers. The convicts in the service of government work from six in the morning till three in the afternoon, when they may spend the rest of the day in amusement, or in labour for themselves. They are clothed, fed, and mostly lodged by government. If the convicts misconduct themselves at their work, the superintendants have no power to inflict punishment, but must take them before the sitting magistrate of the week at Sydney, who, with a regular bench, can order them from 25 to 300 lashes. The convicts distributed among the settlers are clothed, supported, and lodged by them; and working no longer than the government convicts, have the same privileges. The master can inflict no corporal punishment upon them but by the interference of a magistrate; and if the master himself he a magistrate, be must apply to another magistrate for redress against his servant. The servant on his part may also apply to a magistrate, who can, if his complaint be well founded, discharge him from his master. In the distribution of female convicts, they are no longer given to such of the inhabitants as demanded them, when they were in general received rather as prostitutes than as servants; but now, by order of the government here, the female convicts are kept separate till they can properly be distributed in such a manner as they may best derive the advantages of industry and good character.

When the convicts' time is up, if they chuse to settle in the country, a grant is made to the unmarried of 40 acres of land, and to the married of something more for the wife and each child, with tools and stock, which they are not allowed to sell, &c.

Evidence having been produced of the bad consequences of the Governor's possessing a power to grant absolute or conditional pardons; and it being known that in some years 150 pardons have been granted to convicts immediately upon their arrival, without reference to their characters or merits, Parliament has recommended that pardons in future shall only be granted through the Secretary of State, though this may create a delay, perhaps of a year, in obtaining the pardon or any convict.

As to the mode of returning after the expiration of their time, all but the aged and infirm convicts easily find employment on board the ships visiting New South Wales, and are allowed to work their passage home; but though hitherto no such facility has been afforded to the women, who have had no possible method of leaving the colony but by prostituting themselves on board the ships whose masters may chuse to receive them, or who must otherwise submit to banishment for life, means for preventing this in future have also been recommended by Parliament.

But we will now revert to our narrative of the progress of this infant colony.]


A court of criminal judicature existed there similar to that at Sydney, only composed of five instead of seven members; but no civil court had been established.


The civil department consisted of a Lieutenant-Governor, a Deputy Judge-Advocate, a Deputy Provost-Martial, and Deputy Commissary; a Surgeon, a Storekeeper, and four subordinate Officers; and the military of a company of the New South Wales corps.

The settlers were, four seamen who belonged to his Majesty's ship Sirius; fifteen marines; fifty-two settlers, whose terms of transportation had expired; three officers, and others. The whole number (exclusive of the officers) with their families, was about 240.

One hundred and forty-nine men, and sixty-three women, whose terms of sentence had expired, supported them selves by hiring ground from settlers, working for individuals, or at their different trades, and labouring for the public; for which they were clothed and fed from the stores, and received such other encouragement as their behaviour merited. The number of this class, with their women and children, was about 130.


Those remaining under the sentence of the law were:
  For life   36
From 10  to 5 years 10
  5  to 3 4
  3  to 1 26
  1  year to 6 months   60
  Total    136

of which 57 were assigned to settlers and others, and maintained by them; the rest were occupied as follows: not more than 30 men were employed in cultivating ground for the public advantage, and even these were much interrupted, by attending the artificers in carrying on the different buildings.


The island contains about 11,000 acres. In the level parts where the earth cannot be washed away by the heavy rains, the soil varies from a rich brown mould to a light red earth. These are varied by pieces of black mould and gravel. Those parts of easy ascent preserve their depth of soil, and many of them have born six successive crops of wheat.


The ground cleared of timber for public use, and that marked out for the settlers' lots, comprised one half of the island, viz.

of Acres.
Acres cleared
of Timber.
Ground allotted to settlers on
   grant or lease
3,239 920
——— allotted to officers by
   grant, lease, or permission,
132 132
——— allotted to individuals
   of different descriptions,
100 100
——— reserved for govern-
   ment, and contiguous to
   the above allotments,
1,400 — 
——— cleared of timber, and    
   occupied for the public be-
376 376
—— ——
Total quantity of ground oc-
   pied as above,
5,247 1,528
Contents of the island, 11,000
Quantity of ground unoccu-
Quantity of ground not clear-
   ed of timber,

Most of the ground cleared of timber was under cultivation in 1793 and 1794, and produced above 34,000 bushels of grain; but, from the check given to industry in the year 1794, and the great proportion of the labourers working for their own support and other ways disposed of, not more than one-third of the government ground, and a fifth of the ground belonging to individuals, was in any state of cultivation during the last year.

The few at public work, and the labour necessary for preparing the ground to receive wheat, did not admit of more than 100 acres of wheat, 18 of maize being sown last year for the crown; the produce of which had been abundant; but the quantity was much reduced by the weeds that grew with it, and lightning.

Cultivation was confined to maize, wheat, potatoes, and other garden vegetables. The heat of the climate rendered wheat an uncertain crop.

The harvests of maize were plentiful; and two crops were generally procured in twelve months. The produce of one crop was in general 45 bushels per acre, and often from 70 to 80.

It appears, that there were 5247 acres occupied; of which only 1528 were cleared of timber: that there also remained 5753 neither occupied nor cleared, making in the whole 9472 acres not cleared of timber.

Stock on the Island belonging to Government and Individuals, on the 18th October, 1796.

  Cattle.     Horses.     Asses.    Sheep.   Goats.   Swine.    Poultry.  
To whom
M F M F M F M & F M & F M & F A very
————— —— —— ——— great
Government,    3 3 2 4 22 55 710     abundance.
Individuals, 1 2 148 328 4125
—— —— ———
Total, 3 3 1 2 2 4 170 383 4835


  Cattle.    Horses.    Asses.    Sheep.    Goats.    Swine. 
Total received, 1 2 1 1 1 3 2 21 2 11 4 157

When the settlers were informed that payment of their bills could not be made till orders were received from England, and that no more grain could be received, but that the purchase of fresh pork would be continued, their industry became changed, but raising grain continued necessary for their stock.

On most part of the 9472 acres not cleared of timber, the trees and underwood were covered with succulent herbage, which, with the fern and other soft roots, afford the best food for swine. Several individuals had taken advantage of this convenience, by inclosing from 10 to 100 acres of the uncleared parts, into which they turned their swine, of them many had from 20 to 150, that required nothing more than a small quantity of maize to accustom them to their owners.

Salting pork in the cool months had been successfully tried. The swine belonging to government which could be killed during the winter, were salted down.

The Bengal ewes yeaned twice in 13 months, and had commonly two, often three, and sometimes four lambs at a yeaning; and these had increased so much by being crossed by the Cape ram, that a lamb six weeks old is now as large as one of the old ewes.

The goats too are extremely prolific, and generally breed thrice in the year, having commonly from two to four kids at a time.

The want of artificers of all descriptions, and the scarcity of labourers at public work, much retarded the construction of a number of buildings. The island possessed the best of stone, lime, and timber; but, unfortunately, there never had been but one mason on the island.

At Cascade Bay had been made a very strong wharf, 126 feet long, which connects the shore with the landing rock. At the end of it is a swinging crane and capstern, by which boats are loaded and unloaded with the heaviest articles; and in bad weather are hoisted up with safety.

Near this wharf, a large storehouse and barracks for the guard, are built No risk need be run by ships keeping in Sydney Bay, as the landing is good at Cascade Bay, when it becomes in the least degree hazardous at the former place.

A water-mill had been built; it ground 20 bushels of wheat daily; which had removed the inconvenience of every man grinding his own ration before it could be dressed. The abundance of mill-stones, and the quantity of wood fit for millwrights' work, with the convenient situation of the different streams, will admit of any number of water mills being erected.

Two well-finished windmills had also been erected by settlers, which answered extremely well.

Not more than ten settlers had been able to erect dwellings better than log huts, which are neither warm nor durable. Many were building comfortable weather-boarded habitations at their own expense.

Of schools there were two; one for young children, who were instructed by a woman of good character; and the other kept by a man, who taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, for which he was well qualified, and was very attentive. A third institution on a permanent footing was added, for the reception of such orphan female children as had lost or been deserted by their parents. Most of these were of such an age as to require a strict hand and careful eye over them. Unfortunately they, as well as the other children, were destitute of every article of clothing, except such as the store afforded, which was by no means calculated for children in that warm climate. By the application of fines imposed for breaches of the peace, &c. and a subscription raised among the officers, the orphan children had for some time past been clothed, and about 28l. remained to be applied in the same manner.

How highly honourable is it to Lieutenant-Governor King, that at the same time every nerve was exerted to repress and punish the various crimes he was obliged to witness, that be should have such a parental care over the infant generation, as to found schools for their instruction:—undoubtedly he must have felt what Thompson wrote—

"Delightful task to rear the tender mind", &c.

and thus gained that inward satisfaction, which all men must do who endeavour to do well.


The following mode had been adopted:

Class. Description. Numbers.     By whom supported.
1st, Civil and military, 83     government
[Settlers, by grant or lease,
[  and freemen who are
[  under-tenants to the
[  settler,
104     labour
2d, [Freemen who are hired by
[  the year, &c. or who
[  hire themselves out
[  daily,
138     ditto
[Convicts who are taken
[  off the stores by officers,
[  &c.
5     ditto
3d, {Ditto assigned to officers,
{  &c.
67     government
4th, [Ditto employed as over-
[  seers, artificers, watch-
[  men, &c. for the public
[  benefit, many of whom
[  are invalids,
106     ditto
[Ditto cultivating ground
[  for the public use, and
[  other incidental work,
30     ditto
Total males, 533
5th {Women belonging to civil
{  and military, and at
{  public labour,
40     ditto
{Ditto, who belong to the
{  second class of men,
125     labour
[Children belonging to the
[  first and fourth classes,
116     government
6th, [Ditto to the second and
[  third classes,
73     labour
Total females and children, 354

From the foregoing statement it appears, that not more than 136 men, composing the fourth class, are employed in carrying on public work, of which number only 28 can be employed (when other works of public necessity do not intervene) in raising grain, &c. without expense to the crown, for the first, third, fourth, and a part of the fifth and sixth classes; making together 442 persons.

Those of the fourth class, who labour as carpenters, sawyers, blacksmiths, &c. work from daylight till eight o'clock; from nine till noon; and from two in the afternoon till sunset; and as long as they do their work properly they have Fridays and Saturdays to themselves, which they employ in working at their grounds, or in building, &c. for settlers and others who can employ them. As those works are in fact of a private nature, although in the end they become more or less of public utility, the artificers are indulged with the use of government tools and such materials as can be spared.

Those employed in cultivation, and other incidental labour, for the public benefit, work at all seasons from daylight until one o'clock, which is found much more advisable than dispersing them at the hours for meals, and collecting them again to resume their labour. As very few of this description have any persons to dress their meal, or grind their maize, they have by this management a great part of the day at their own disposal; and from the 21st of September to the 21st of February no public work is done, on Saturdays. Those of this description who are industrious employ a great part of their leisure time in cultivating pieces of ground for their own use, or labouring for others.

The second and a part of the fifth and sixth classes, making together 331 persons, support themselves by the produce of their labour without expense to the crown; as the clothing with which they and the settlers are occasionally furnished from the stores is paid for in grain or stock.


To a convict taken off the stores by an officer or settler, from 5l. to 6l. per annum.

To a freeman hired by the year, victualled and clothed, from 10l. to 12l. per annum.

A day's work for a labourer, with victuals, is 3s. without, 5s.

Cutting down and burning off an acre of wood, 2l.

Ditto, ditto, an acre of weeds, 1l. 10s.

Thrashing one bushel of wheat, 10lbs. equal to 1s. 8d.

Other works are in proportion.. The mode of payment for labour is various, and depends entirely on the employers circumstances; but it is in general made by what arises from the grain or fresh pork put into the stores by settlers, &c. sometimes (but very rarely) in cash; and often, by equal labour, or by produce, which is rated as underneath.

And in order to prevent disputes respecting the payment, these agreements, as well as all others, are entered in a book kept by a person for that purpose, and properly witnessed.

Average prices of provisions raised on the island, either for sale, for barter, or in payment for labour.


Fresh pork, 6d. per lb.
Pickled ditto, 8d.
Wheat, from 7s. 6d. to 10s. per bushel.
Maize, from 1s. 6d. to 5s.
Potatoes, from 1s. to 3s. 6d. per cwt.
Full-grown fowls, from 6d. to 1s. each.
Ditto ducks, 10d. to 1s. 3d. each.
Ditto turkeys, 7s. 6d. each.


Geese, 10s. each.
Female goats, 8l. each.
Goal's flesh or mutton, to government, 9d. per lb.
Ditto, to individuals, 1s. 6d. ditto.

N.B. When the latter is taken into the stores for the sick, it is issued as 5 lbs. of mutton for 7 lbs. of salt beef stopped in the stores; by which method government does not pay more than 6d. per lb. as for fresh pork.

The depravity of the convicts rapidly increasing, the Governor resolved on building a larger log prison both at Sydney and Paramatta, and "as the affair cried haste", a quantity of logs were ordered to be sent in by the various settlers, officers, and others, by which means the carpenters had as many or more than they could use; at this time it was discovered that many convicts attended the delivery of provisions from the stores, both at Sydney and Paramatta, answering to their own or another name at both places, to prevent a repetition, of which the delivery was ordered to take place in the future on the same hour at both stores. Indeed, so incorrigible were some of the convicts, particularly those of the gaol gang, that they were ordered to work every Sunday on the highway, as a punishment, and in an excursion the Governor made to Paramatta, he recovered nearly 100 men as labourers for Government, who had absconded from the other settlements. On the 16th of October, a boat sent to the North shore for wood, brought in a man's hat, which was found with a hammer laying near it; some blood was found in the hat, and on searching, the body of a man was discovered near the water side. On the next morning a man murdered a woman, with whom he lived. During this month the houses at Paramatta and Sydney were numbered, divided into districts, and one inhabitant chosen in each, as a security for the peace being kept in the division, and an appointment took place of three watchmen, to be rechosen every 12 months, and approved by the Governor. Bennillong who had become tired of civilized life, and had returned to his natural savage state, applied to the Governor for assistance against a number of his fellow countrymen, who were determined to kill him, for murdering a man near Botany Bay, of which he protested his innocence. The Governor, anxious to protect his companion from England (Bennillong), sent a guard with him to the brick-fields, (where the natives lay in wait for him) to explain to his countrymen that he was not guilty of that or any murder, and that the Governor would not suffer a native to visit any of the settlements that should dare insult him; and as they had all felt the comforts of the settlements, particularly in cold weather, the business ended. On the 1st of November, arrived the Prince of Wales, from England, with a cargo of provisions. On the 13th, the Francis arrived from Norfolk Island, with dispatches from the Reliance, Supply, and Britannia; and on the 14th Richard Atkins, Esq. officiated as Judge-Advocate, instead of Captain Collins. The Sylph anchored in the Cove, on the 17th, with provisions; she sailed with the Prince of Wales from England, but was by contrary winds prevented reaching her destination before. A criminal court opened on the 23d, and was held till the 29th, at the conclusion of which, eight men had sentence of death passed on them; Francis Morgan, for the murder of the man whose body was found on the 16th of October, and seven for robbing the stores, and two others were found guilty of manslaughter; three were executed at Sydney, two at Paramatta, and three were pardoned. The body of Morgan was ordered to be hung in chains on the island Mat-te-wan-ye. This spectacle, shocking to the refined mind, served as an object of ridicule to the convicts, and terror to the natives, who though, hitherto, particularly partial to that spot, now totally abandoned it, least the malefactor should descend and seize them, in the same way as their superstition prompted them to imagine spirits did. The Prince of Wales sailed for China on the 23d, and on the 6th of December, the Sylph to the same place. On board the latter two male convicts were discovered. Nothing but the superior ignorance of the convicts can account for the repeated attempts to leave the colony in this way, as no obstacle was ever placed in the way of their quitting the country with some degree of credit, when the term for which they were transported had expired. A little native girl, whose parents resided near Broken Bay, and were among those that committed continual depredations at the Hawkesbury, was brought in by a party detatched against the depredators, among whom were shot, her parents. She soon became a great favourite in Sydney, which made the natives about that settlement very jealous of her, and at length they found means to get the poor girl into the woods near the Governor's house, when they murdered her, by cutting off her arms, and making many spear wounds in her body; they then left her, and withdrew into the woods. In January a stack of wheat containing about 800 bushels of corn, was destroyed by fire; and as a considerable quantity of wheat the property of Government was in the neighbourhood of it, the jail gang were ordered out, and promised if they stopped the progress of the flames, that the irons in which they always worked should be knocked off. This had the desired effect; they overcame the fire, and gained their promised reward. Lawrence Davoreu, an attorney, transported from Ireland, was on the 20th of January convicted of forgery. The Governor ordered him to Norfolk Island for life. His Excellency made an excursion to Botany Bay, for the purpose of exploring George's river, and the soil near its banks. The river it was found reached 25 miles from Botany Bay. This month a windmill and a granary were finished.


To prevent a continuance of disputes which had arisen between the settlers and the labourers, the following sums were settled to be in future paid.

   l.  s.  d.
Falling forest timber, per acre, 0 9 0
Do. in brush ground, do. 0 10 6
Burning off open ground, do. 1 5 0
Do. brush ground, do. 1 10 0
Breaking up new ground, do. 1 4 0
Chipping fresh ground, per acre, 0 12 3
Chipping in wheat, do. 0 7 0
Breaking up stubble or corn ground,
  1¼d. per rod, or do.
0 16 8
Planting Indian corn, do. 0 7 0
Hilling, do. do. 0 7 0
Reaping wheat, do. 0 10 0
Threshing ditto, per bushel, 0 0 9
Pulling and husking Indian corn,
  per bushel,
0 0 6
Splitting pailing of seven feet long,
  per hundred,
0 3 0
Do. of five feet long, do. 0 1 6
Sawing plank, do. 0 7 0
Ditching per rod, three feet wide,
  and three feet deep,
0 0 10
Carriage of wheat, per bushel, per mile     0 0 2
Do. Indian corn, neat, 0 0 3
Yearly wages for labour, with board, 10 0 0
Wages per week, with provisions,
  consisting of 4lb. of salt pork, or
  6lb. of fresh, and 21 lbs. of wheat,
  with vegetables,
0 6 0
A day's wages, with board, 0 1 0
Do. without board, 0 2 6
A government man allowed to offi-
  cers or settlers in their own time,
0 0 10
Price of an axe, 0 2 0
New steeling do 0 0 6
A new hoe, 0 1 9
A sickle, 0 1 6
Hire of a boat to carry grain, per day 0 5 0

If possible, to prevent the many robberies committed by the convicts who were hitherto suffered to wander about, it was ordered, that none but officers, should travel without passports, which they were to shew to the officers in the different districts, and those detected travelling without, were to be imprisoned a month.

The continual repetitions of the most cruel outrages, committed by the natives on the settlers in the Northern farms, in one of which they lately murdered a man and woman, compelled the settlers to arm and follow them, keeping up the pursuit all night; the next morning they came near about 100 of them, when the natives fled, leaving their plunder on the ground. The pursuers continued to follow them to the neighbourhood of Paramatta; when fatigued, the settlers went into the town, and were in return followed by the natives, with Pe-mul-wy at their head. This fellow, with all the brutal impudence of ignorance, threatened to kill the first man that approached him, and actually threw a spear at a soldier; in consequence of which a discharge from the military and settlers took place, by which 5 natives were killed, and many wounded; among the latter was Pe-mul-wy, who was then brought to the hospital, from whence, when cured, he made his escape, with an iron ah out his leg.

The log prison and granary at Sydney were completed during March. The settlers at the Hawkesbury sent round a quantity of grain to repay the store for that lent them, as seed to crop their grounds the last season; and at the same time sent information that the natives had plundered a settler's house, and then burnt it, as well as a rick of wheat.

The public granaries being filled, they closed on the 21st of April, and were declared shut against the receipt of grain, till the following August. The Governor wishing to ascertain the quantity and quality of a tract of land between the Duck and George's River, set out with a party, sending a boat on first with provisions to the Banks of the George's River, from Paramatta; the ground was found excellent, and well stored with ponds of fresh water. Proceeding nearly to Botany Bay, they saw several parties of natives, and among the rest Pe-mul-wy, who inquired, if the Governor was angry? and was delighted on being told he was not During April a tree was discovered, the bark of which, when soaked in water and well beat, could be spun and used instead of hemp, and was superior to the flax from Norfolk Island, which was particularly fortunate, as the colony was in great want of cordage.

A criminal court assembled this month, sentenced three (who had served the terms for which they were transported), to be now again transported to Norfolk Island; one for receiving stolen goods for 14 years, and the other two, who were of that class, who to avoid work, sought refuge in the woods, and robbed the settlements at night for support, the court sentenced to 7 years transportation.

The public works continued the same as at the end of the last month. The foundation of the building for the reception of the assistant-surgeons was laid, and the lower floor of the large granary at Sydney was nearly completed.

Much rain fell during this month. On the morning of the 27th of April, a high wind came on, which, for the want of care at the windmill, it was set going with such violence, that one of the running stones was broke, a piece of which so wounded the millwright, that his life was despaired of. Some carpenters were ordered to repair the damage, and in a few days it was at work as usual.

The example lately made had no good effect on the natives, they still troubled the settlers in Land Cove, burning a house, and killing a number of hogs, which, as they left behind them, proved the attack to be wanton. At Kissing Point, they wounded a settler and his wife, and burned every article they had. The settlers were so perpetually alarmed by the natives that they again collected, and with a few soldiers sent to assist them, went out in the night, and their fires directed them to the place where a large body of natives had collected to attack and plunder them. A volley of musketry was then fired over their heads, which so alarmed them, that they instantly fled, leaving their spears, &c. and about 20 bushels of Indian corn which they had stolen.

Though many of the natives had been kindly treated, yet they were seldom found to possess any degree of gratitude. Bennillong himself, was as destitute in this respect as most of his countrymen; even their children, bred up in the settlements, and who, from being accustomed to follow the settlers' manner of living, might have been supposed to have no taste for the life of their parents, when grown up, quitted their hospitable abodes, and took to the same savage mode of living, where the supply of food was often uncertain, and their lives in danger. The wife of a man named Ye-ra-ni-be, both of whom had been brought up in the settlement, was murdered in the brick-fields by her husband, and Cole-be, who first beat her about the head, and then drove a spear through her heart.

If spoken to for robbing the maize-grounds, or cornfields, to be revenged, they assembled in large bodies, burned the houses of the settlers, and frequently took their lives, though seldom refused corn when they would ask for it; that they were stimulated to this conduct by some run-a-ways, who were among them at the time there was no doubt. In order to get these pests, a proclamation was issued, calling on them by name to surrender within 14 days, declaring them outlaws if they failed, and required the inhabitants to assist in bringing them to justice. And the Governor made known, that if any natives were again detected in robbing the settlers, he would hang one of them in chains near the spot as a terror to the others.

On the 16th of May, the Supply arrived from the Cape of Good Hope, with 31 cows, 5 mares, and 27 sheep, all in perfect health: 8 cows, 2 bulls, and 13 sheep died in the course of the voyage.

In the night of the 16th, a boat which had been fishing at some distance to the Southward of Botany Bay, brought to the settlement three persons who belonged to a ship called the Sydney Cove, which had sailed from Bengal with a cargo for this country on speculation. The Governor was informed by Mr. Clarke, (one of the three) that the ship had sprung a dangerous leak before she had rounded the South Cape, which, as soon as they had got to the Eastward of the Southern part of the coast, increased to so great a degree, as to render it absolutely necessary to haul in for the land. The wind being from the S. E. they were enabled to accomplish this, in time to land the ship, when she was dropping from under them, having sunk down to the fore channels, when they were enabled to run her aground, on an island in lat. 40° 37' South. They met with this misfortune in the middle of February; soon after which a small number of them resolved to attempt reaching Port Jackson in the ship's long boat, leaving the commander and about 30 people to stay near the wreck. The boat being got ready, 17 people embarked in her, and sailed; but meeting with very bad weather they were again wrecked on the coast near Point Hicks, and endeavoured to travel Northward, but dropped off one by one and lost each other daily, till the number was reduced to five, the three who had arrived (the supercargo, a sailor, and a Lascar), the first mate of the ship, and the carpenter. These two, from excessive fatigue, had been unable to proceed, and had stopped the day before their companions had been taken up by the fishing-boat.

To seek these unfortunates a boat was dispatched, provided with such comforts as were necessary. The man who met with the supercargo was sent in the whale boat, and they proceeded to the spot which Mr. Clarke had described as the place where they lost sight of their companions; but, after a long search, they only found some trifling articles, and these being bloody, it was naturally imagined they had been killed by the natives, whom, in the course of their long march, they had found frequently very kind, and at other times on the contrary very savage.

Mr. Clarke, and the two other people, were very much exhausted, but every care being paid to their situation, they quickly recovered.

The Britannia anchored between the heads from Ireland, on the 27th, with 150 male and 50 female convicts from that kingdom, and an officer and 25 recruits for the New South Wales corps.

The same day the Francis, and a longboat named the Eliza, sailed to bring away the remainder of the ship's company belonging to the unfortunate Sydney Cove.

The settlement was now much distressed for canvas, the best boat being in the Hawkesbury, it became requisite to dismantle another, and thus furnish sails to bring her round.

On the 2d of June, the ship Ganges arrived from Ireland, with convicts from that kingdom, and a detachment of recruits for the New South Wales corps.

The Governor now visited Paramatta, to examine that part of the country he meant to cultivate on the public account; and to observe how the convicts, lately arrived, were provided for. The cattle from the Supply had been sent thither, and were with the stock at Toongabbe, all thriving well.

The ground proposed to be cleared on the public account, was two miles and a half from Paramatta, very well situated, having excellent ponds in its vicinity. The deputy surveyor attended the governor, spots were marked out for erecting the public buildings; and named Portland-Place.

In consequence of the proclamation issued last month, a run-a-way convict delivered himself up, an another was taken; they seemed half starved; but their sufferings were not sufficient to prevent a repetition of the offence in themselves, or similar ones in others; so strong was the aversion these vile character had to work.

On the 26st of June, the Reliance arrive from the Cape of Good Hope, with 26 cows 3 bulls, and about 60 sheep on board, for the colony. Two boys belonging to the Reliance, on the same night she arrived, carried away a small two-oared boat, in which they intended to proceed and join the natives. To effect which, they took a boat-cloak to sleep in, a pair of pistols, a small quantity of gunpowder, an 50 cakes of portable soup; but being pursued they were brought back again.

The inhabitants of Sydney were assessed to supply thatch for the new gaol, and the building was enclosed with a strong high fence. It was 80 feet long, the sides and ends were of strong logs, a double row of which formed each partition. The prison was divided into 22 cells. The floor and the roof were logs, over which was a coat eight inches deep of clay.

On the 5th of July the Francis arrived from the wreck of the Sydney Cove, with all the crew except six, who were left to protect that part which was saved of the cargo. A violent storm arose on the 17th, which rooted up many large trees, and blew down several chimnies. The vanes a windmill were torn by the wind, and even the ships in the cove, brought their anchors horn On the 7th of August, the Francis sailed for Norfolk Island with provisions; but the wind left her before she cleared the harbour, "when some of those on board got intoxicated, and desired to bring a boat on shore, which was of course refused; in consequence of this, one of the crew fired a pistol and wounded a seaman, and for this he was brought on shore, though not in a way agreeable to his desires. A whale-boat was sent with Mr. Bass, to discover a stratum of coal found by Mr. Clarke, two days before he was taken up by the fishing boat. Mr. Bass met with it seven leagues Southward, and found it extended for nine miles to the breadth of eight feet. On the 27th, a young native, said to have committed murder, underwent the encounter of that revenge usually exhibited on those occasions. In the combat two spears went through his hand, when his friends rushed on his adversaries, defeated them, and broke their spears. Bennillong was now accused of the murder of a native woman, because she told her friends, when at the point of death, that she dreamed Bennillong had killed her; but he protested he was a perfect stranger to the woman, having never seen her.

A piratical misfortune occurred in the beginning of September; a boat, named the Cumberland, on her passage with stores to the Hawkesbury, was boarded by some persons in a small boat, and joined by some of the crew. Four not wishing to escape in this way, were put on shore near Broken Bay. The boat then put off to sea, and those landed hastened to Port Jackson with the information; and though two boats went in pursuit of them, it was without effect. On the 20th of September arrived the Deptford brig from Madras, on speculation, principally laden with spirits; for as they at all times found a ready sale at Sydney, no ship came there on a trading voyage without a large portion of them in their cargo, and though every means that could be devised was made use of, to prevent the whole of them being brought on shore, ways were contrived to land them without leave; so great was the determination to procure those baneful commodities.

Towards the close of this month another excursion was made to view the wild cattle, when two herds were seen, one consisting of 67 and and another of 170.

On the 2d of October, another boat was seized by a party, in which were included the three men who objected to going away in the Cumberland last month; and though boats were sent out after them directly, they returned with the same want of success.

The Reliance though cleared of her stores, and now quite light, was found to admit as much water as before; and it appeared on opening the ceiling, that the leak was in the guard-board streak, abreast of the main-mast, the water rushing in there with great force.

A survey had been held on the Supply, after which she was pronounced unfit for further service.

The bricklayers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and other labourers, were all now fully employed. A large and convenient shop, capable of working several forges, was erecting at Sydney.

The Governor to prevent any more escapes by means of boats, ordered all that might in future be found not properly secured, or left with rudders, sails, masts, or oars, to be burnt. On the 20th of October, two men were tried for the murder of a native long accustomed to the settlement, but were acquitted, as it seemed committed by accident. One for forgery was convicted, and sentenced to be transported for seven years to Norfolk Island. Three of the witnesses on these trials were afterwards convicted of perjury, and sentenced to stand in the pillory, with their ears nailed to the rostrum; at the execution of which the mob greeted them with the true English accompaniments of dirt and rotten eggs.

The 20th of this month a contest took place between the natives; one of which, desirous of revenging the death of a friend, who had been killed by some native of a tribe from which a young man had just come amongst them. Discovering their intention, he stood up, and, being attacked by numbers, defended himself with great bravery, till being speared in several places, at length fell. As he lay on the ground, several treacherously rushed on him, and stabbed him repeatedly with a Doo-ul. Thus situated, he tried to cover himself with his shield, on which, rising from the ground, he was again attacked, and received their spears with the greatest dexterity, till some treacherous native took a station on one side, and fixed a spear in his back, which remained there. On this, they proceeded a second time to rush on him, when he had just strength enough left to make his escape into a house, where he was kindly received, but immediately fainted.

The spear being drawn, and his wounds dressed, by a surgeon, in a few days he was able to walk. His brother, who had accompanied him to the battle, stood up in his defence, and was wounded both in the leg and thigh.

The principal sufferer in this affair was one named William and Ann, which he had adopted from a ship of that name which arrived in the year 1791.

Some of the women on this occasion howled and cried alternately when they were enraged, which often happened, they danced and beat their sides with their arms; a proof of their passions being affected.

On the 31st, an open boat, from the Hawkesbury, which arrived with Indian corn, had been boarded in her passage by a party of natives in canoes. They were suffered to come in the boat, when watching an opportunity, they made an attempt to seize, the arms. This caused a struggle, in which the boat's crew prevailed, but not before some of these black pirates had lost their lives.

It was discovered that a boat belonging to a settler, which had been stolen some time, and was supposed to have been driven out to sea and lost, had been taken by the natives, after murdering the men who were in her. The boat, on a search being made, was found in the possession of the natives.

This was a novel circumstance, but it was too true; the white people living amongst them had been the instigators of this mischief.

A bridge, capable of bearing any weight, was erected over Duck river, for the convenience of land carriage between the towns of Sydney and Paramatta.

During November, a scarcity of wheat once more visited the public stores, and the Governor ordered a reduction of that article till the crops were gathered.

The success which attended the seizure of the Cumberland, and the other escapes of two parties of convicts, tempted 14 others to form a plan for taking away a boat, and making the same effort. Having secreted all the stores they meant to carry away, the night for their departure was settled; and they were on the point of embarking, when they were surrounded by a party of magistrates and constables, who took them and their stores into custody; for they had not proceeded with the caution necessary for such an enterprize, and information was given just in time to defeat their project; and the next day they were punished, by being sent up to Paramatta to hard labour.

On the subject of these mad schemes, the Governor addressed the convicts, and afterwards published an order, pointing out the risk which must attend such enterprises; and said, he was of opinion, that a few ignorant people had been led to try them by the wicked designs of some viler than themselves.

The Irish convicts who arrived in the last ship shewing a propensity to desert from work, a party of soldiers were sent to Toongabbe, there to remain during the harvest.

Nine hundred bushels of the last year's crop, where brought round in the Francis from the Hawkesbury, and placed in the public store. Than the appearance of the wheat of this season nothing could promise better; it had ripened suddenly, owing to some heavy rains being followed by hot weather. The military were hired to assist in reaping, it being necessary to lose no time in collecting the crops.

James Wilson, who had for a long time taken up his abode in the woods, surrendered himself this month to the Governor's clemency. He had been with the savages over different parts of the country, and had submitted to have his shoulders and breast scarified after their custom. He appeared with no covering but an apron of a kangaroo's skin.

The Governor knowing, from his former habits, that if punished and sent to hard Labour, he would rejoin his savage companions, thought to make him useful in the mode of living which he seemed to prefer; therefore pardoned him, and proposed his attempting, to take the convicts who were at large in the woods; just before Wilson's return two of whom had stolen two mares.

Wilson said, that he had been 100 miles in every direction round the settlement, and had seen several animals, which had not been seen in any of the districts; and to the North West of the head of the Hawkesbury, he came upon a very extensive tract of open and well-watered country, where he had seen a bird of the pheasant species, and a quadruped, which he said was larger than a dog.

A convict who had formerly been a school-fellow of the Rev. Mr. Johnson's, had been taken into his service, and he reposed in him the greatest confidence, treating him with every indulgence. He had not been in the service of Mr. Johnson long, when that Gentleman was informed that his servant had taken an impression of his store-room key, and procured another from it that would fit the lock. Hardly crediting the information, he was urged to furnish an opportunity; for which purpose a constable was concealed in the house one Sunday, while all the family but this servant were attending divine service. This plan succeeded; imagining all was safe, by means of his key, he entered the room, and was proceeding to plunder it, when the constable seized him taking the property.

This month the Deptford brig sailed to the coast of Coromandel.

On the 10th of December two of the natives, both of them well known in the settlement, (Cole-be, the friend of Bennillong, and one of another tribe) meeting at Sydney, attacked each other. Cole-be was remarkable for his activity, but his opponent was much younger, and a perfect match for him. Closing on each other, with their clubs, Cole-be, who had not before gained any advantage, and the handle of the other's shield drawing out, and falling from, his grasp, he stooped to pick it up, when Cole-be struck him on the head, and staggered him, arid followed his blow while in that situation.

Cole-be as conscious this would acquire him the name of jee-run, or coward, as that the friends of the other would revenge his cause, the consequences might be serious if he died, he thought proper to abscond, and the poor fellow was taken care of, but on the 16th he died. During this time he was attended by some of his male and female friends, particularly two, Collins and Mo-roo-bra. One of the nights when a dismal song of lamentation had been sung over him, principally by women, his male friends, after listening with great attention, started up, and seizing their weapons, went off determined on revenge, knowing where to meet with Cole-be, they beat him and reserved the gratification of killing him for their final revenge, until the fate of their companion should be ascertained. The next night, Collins and Mo-roo-bra attacked a relation of Cole-be's, Boo-ra-wan-ye, whom they beat about the head with great cruelty.

The murdered native was hurried the day after he died by the road side below the military barracks. He was placed by his friends upon a large piece of bark, and laid into a grave. Bennillong assisted, placing the head of the corpse, near which he stuck a beautiful war-ra-taw, and covered the body with the blanket on which he died. The earth was thrown in with some spades, during which, and the whole of the ceremony, the women howled and cried; this was the effect of violent passions into which the men threw themselves. Many spears were thrown, and some blows were dealt with clubs; but nothing serious happened. Cole-be's death all seemed determined on, having in so cowardly a manner killed one so much beloved. To effect which a number of natives met in a few days near the barracks, at which time a young man, a relation of Cole-be's, received many wounds, and a lad also related to him, (and who formerly lived with Mr. White, the surgeon), was to have been sacrificed, but he was saved by the appearance of a soldier, who had been sent with him for protection; for it was conceived, when the tumult against his uncle (Cole-be) had subsided, nothing more would be thought of him.

Cole-be knowing that he must submit to the trial usual on such occasions, or live in the continual fear of being murdered, determined to suffer the affair to be decided. Having made known his resolution. On a day appointed, he repaired armed to the place near the barracks. The violence shewn by the friends ol the deceased was indescribable; and Cole-be would certainly have lost his life, but for several of the military. Although active in the use of the shield, he was overpowered, and falling beneath their spears, would have been killed on the spot, but several soldiers rushed in, and prevented them; he, from the many severe wounds he received, being incapable of making any resistance. The soldiers lifted him from the ground, and bore him into the barracks.

Bennillong, the friend of Cole-be, was present at this meeting; but, without intending to take any part in it either way. The atrocity of his friend's conduct had been such that he could not openly espouse his quarrel; perhaps indeed, he had no wish to fight; and if he could avoid it, he would not, by appearing against him, add to the number of his enemies. He was armed, however, and without clothing of any kind, remaining a silent spectator till the moment when the soldiers rushed in to save the life of Cole-be. On a sudden he was in a rage, and threw a spear among the soldiers, which took effect on one of them, entering at his back and coming out at the belly, close to the naval. For this he would instantly have been killed had not the provost-marshal interfered and brought him away; for he had received a blow on the head with the butt-end of a musket.

It was thought necessary to confine him all night, to prevent the mischief with which he threatened the white people, and to save him from the anger of the military, and on the following morning he quitted the town.

Prior to the death of the poor fellow murdered by Cole-be, the natives at Sydney were called to the celebration of that ceremony, Yoo-lahng Era-ba-diang.*

[* See pages from 12 to 15. [Chapter I]]

Bennillong was there, but returned without his wife, being persuaded by her mother, who she met at the Yoo-lahng, to leave her husband. Bennillong was no favourite with even the females of his own country, and those unfortunate enough to be with him for any time, were known to be actuated by fear of his brutality.

The house of John Mitcham, a settler, and a stack of wheat, were set, on fire by three villains. The poor man owed above 30l. which the contents of his wheat-stack was meant to discharge, but now, besides being cruelly beaten, he had to make a fresh beginning in the world, and that very much involved. The man knew not who were his enemies; for two of them had blackened their faces, and the other was a stranger.

An order was issued, with an offer of conditional freedom, and permission to become a settler, to any convict who would give information to convict the offenders.

As much mischief had been done by dogs among the hogs, sheep, goats, and fowls, an order was issued limiting the number kept by each person to what were necessary for protection.

Three schools for the education of children, had been established at Sydney; and this being the period of their breaking-up for the Christmas holydays, 102 clean and decently-dressed children, came with their several masters and mistresses, and paid their respects to the Governor, who examined the progress of the elder scholars in writing, &c.

On Christmas-eve, two settlers between Sydney and Paramatta, having boasted of their abilities in drinking, challenged each other to a trial of skill in that way, and to prevent being disturbed, retired to a wood, with a quantity of spirits. Their abilities by no means kept pace with their boasting; for one died on the spot, and the other was nearly dead when taken up.

On Christmas-day information was given, that two seamen of the Reliance had discovered the body of a soldier (who had been for two days missing,) lying in a mangled state, with his head and hands cut off.

A settler was fined 40s. and ordered to labour for six weeks, for disobeying the public orders.

The commander of the wrecked ship, Sydney Cove, having intreated the Governor to spare the Francis to visit the wreck, and the six men he had left in charge of what property was saved. His Excellency consenting, at the latter end of the month the Francis sailed with Captain Hamilton for that purpose.

On the East side of Sydney, a fire broke out among the convict's houses, when three of them were destroyed; and another house, at some distance, was burnt by some wretches who the owner had displeased.

In December, the public labour was covering the new store-house, finishing a tower for a clock which had arrived in the Reliance, building another windmill, and completing the barracks of the assistant-surgeons.

At Paramatta and Toongabbe the wheat was all nearly housed. At the latter place a barn had been built, 90 feet long, with a floor on which 16 or 18 threshers could work.


In January, 1798, the prisoners who arrived in the last ships from Ireland had become so troublesome, and so dissatisfied, that, without the most rigid treatment it was not possible to make them do any work. Added to the natural viciousness of their propensities, they formed a stupid opinion that there existed a colony of white people in the country S. W. of the settlement, distant only between 3 and 400 miles, in which they assured themselves of finding every comfort without labour, which to people of this description seemed to promise every happiness that ignorant indolence could devise.

In consequence of this idea a plan was formed for effecting an escape from the colony, and meant to be executed, as soon as a sufficient stock of provisions could be obtained.

The Governor receiving information of these intentions, desired a magistrate to go to Toongabbe, where the principal malcontents were employed, and shew them the danger to which such a step would expose them, and to acquaint them, that the Governor would allow any four to proceed as far as they should find inclined, with what provisions they could carry, and for the preservation of their lives, he would order three other people, accustomed to the woods, and acquainted with the savages, to accompany and lead them in whatever direction they should point out.

On inquiry, it appeared, that the history of the supposed settlement had originated from a strange unintelligible account which one who left his work, and lived with the natives, had collected from the mountain savages.

A short time demonstrated the effect of the Governor's address. He received information that numbers of them were assembling for the purpose of proceeding in quest of the new settlement. His Excellency directed a party of armed constables to secure as many as they were able; and sixteen were taken and put into confinement; they appeared to be quite ignorant where they were going; but observing both obstinacy and ignorance, the Governor, conceived that he could not use any argument more likely to convince them of their folly than by ordering a severe corporal punishment to be inflicted at Sydney on those who appeared to be the principals in this business, which was put in execution; seven of them received two hundred lashes each; the remainder, after being punished at Paramatta, were sent to hard labour and well looked after.

The necessity of checking this spirit of emigration, determined the Governor to convince them, by their own experience, of the dangers attending it, he therefore ordered four of the strongest among them to be chosen, and prepared for a journey of discovery. They were to be accompanied by three men, who were to lead them back, when fatigued and exhausted with their journey, over the very worst and most dangerous parts of the country; but this plan was no sooner settled, than the Governor was informed that a party concerted with the four fellows elected, to meet them at a particular place, and there murder the persons intended as their guides, possess themselves of their arms and provisions, and afterwards pursue their own course. This infernal scheme was counteracted by an addition of four soldiers to the guides; and on the 14th they set off from Paramatta.

On the 24th the military brought back three of the fellows, who, having gained the foot of the first mountains, were so completely sick of their journey, and the prospect before them, that they intreated the soldiers to return, who were ordered to leave them at this place to the direction of the guides; only one man expressed a determination to penetrate further into the country, and was left with them for that purpose.

In the transactions of the 2d of October, it will be seen a boat had been carried off by some who were supposed to have taken her out to sea, but they were now heard of. Owen Cavanagh, a free man, had a boat which he employed in conveying grain from Hawkesbury to Sydney. On the 10th of this month, he informed the Governor, that a short time before, his boat had been boarded off Mullett-Island, by the people who stole the settlers, and carried her off, and another with 50 bushels of grain, which was bringing to Sydney. One who had against his wish, been a party in the first seizure, now left them, and returned with Cavanagh; and gave the following account of their proceedings:

"Having made the capture they proceeded to the Southward, with the idea of reaching the wreck of the Sydney Cove. For their guide they had a pocket compass, of which hardly one man of the fourteen knew the use. In this boat they were twice thrown on shore, and at length reached an island, where they fortunately found many birds and seals, or they must have perished. From the hardships they underwent, they would have returned, had they expected their punishment would have been any but death. Not finding it possible for such a number of beings to continue in one mind 3 or to furnish food in their miserable situation for so many, they thought proper that one half should deceive the other, and while these were asleep, those who were prepared took away the boat, leaving their seven unsuspecting companions on a desolate island," the situation of which this man could not describe so as to enable it to be found. Their number reduced to seven, they thought themselves in danger near this port; they had been lurking for some time near Broken Bay, with a view of stealing a better boat loaded with grain, which they effected, first by taking the boat of Cavanagh, by means of which he had long been enabled to support his wife and children; securing him, they took possession of a smaller boat, with above 50 bushels of wheat. Finding Cavanagh's the largest and best, they ran out from the land, and shifted their prisoners into the smaller boat and stood off to the Northward.

Wilson lately came from the woods, and among other information mentioned finding above 50 skeletons, which the natives said, were those of white men, who had lost their way; which was corroborated by old shoes, &c. lying about.

On the 20th, the Francis returned. Previous to his departure for the wreck, Capt. Hamilton informed the Governor that she had on board 7000 gallons of spirits, and wished to bring back part with him by the Francis. The Governor averse to the introduction of spirits, would have opposed the application; but it being known in the colony, that a quantity of this article had been saved, and that the island abounded with kangaroos and birds, he thought these circumstances would not only have led to desertions and captures of boats which had been effected, but likely to prove temptations to similar practices; he therefore agreed to purchase 3500 gallons of the rum of Capt. Hamilton, on account of Government.

Capt. Hamilton said, that of the other articles taken on shore from the wreck, a small quantity of coarse cloth only had been preserved, as the remainder was destroyed by wind and bad weather. The wreck was quite washed away. Of the six lascars who were left with the property, one died; the five were in good health. Capt. Hamilton left a cow, which died; but a mare was brought away in the Francis. The Lascars had lived by killing kangaroos and birds. They had erected a smoke-house, and cured meat enough to serve them the ensuing winter. These people, provided only with a small boat, made several excursions; and it appeared that this part of the coast of New South Wales was formed by a group of islands, reaching as far as they had seen to the Westward. From these, and observations he had made when on that part himself, the Governor conceived it highly probable that there were many passages or straits through to the ocean westward, making Van Diemen's land, the Southernmost part of New South Wales, an island.


NOTWITHSTANDING the trial Cole-be had undergone for the unfair way of striking his opponent, while stooping down, of which blows he died, the friends of that man did not think it sufficient for his loss. Mo-roo-bra, with some other natives, met Cole-be, and made an attack, determined to murder him. Cole-be, still weak of the wounds he received in the last combat, was not able to resist; and after receiving many blows on the head, was thought finally dispatched; but Mo-roo-bra, as they quitted him, saw him revive and attempt to rise, so returned to finish his business. This so exasperated another native, that he caught up a spear, and in a rage threw it with great force at Mo-roo-bra: it entered his right side, over the hip bone, and went downwards quite through the body, and he died in about an hour. The same evening this heroic native was attacked in the usual way, and defended himself with prodigious gallantry. He was speared twice through the thigh, once through the leg, and received a bad wound in the right hand.

The magistrates at Sydney, two in number, being much indisposed, the Governor took upon himself the execution of their troublesome office.

At the end of the month he visited Paramatta, to examine the progress of the works going on there. During his Excellency's stay, an Irish convict, who had escaped for some time, was brought in. After wandering about several days in search of a road which was to have conducted him to China, or the new ideal colony of white people, his strength failed as provisions grew short, and as he despaired of meeting with relief, he had sense enough to reverse the written instructions calculated only to carry him out, directing him to keep the sun on a particular part of his body, varying according to the time of the day. Thus he travelled Eastward, which led him nearly to the head of George's river, where a few people were settled; and having one morning heard a gun at a distance, he tried to walk to it, but was unable, when night came on him, being faint, he took a little flour from his pocket, and sprinkling it on some water, drank it, and then laid down to rest. In the morning he was a little refreshed, and again endeavoured to get in the direction whence he heard the report of a gun, and soon heard a man's voice, on which he hallooed and to his great joy was answered. This man, who was a settler, took him to his house, recruited his spirits, and brought him into the town. Being questioned how he found his way back, he said, "that a paper compass which had been given him was of no use, so he kept his face toward the place whence the sun came from; but had not the herd been on his side, he must have been lost, being two whole days without any food, but a little flour and water.

The public works carrying on this month, were laying a new floor in the granary at Paramatta; repairing every brick building belonging to government, which were all very much decayed. At Sydney, on the 31st, the building for that purpose being finished, the clock was put up, and thus made known the hour to the inhabitants. This appendage of public utility, astonished the natives, who could by no means account for the noise it made on striking, at which times they started in the most anxious fear, till they became accustomed to the sound.

The Francis again sailed to the wreck of the Sydney Cove, on the first of February.

Some of the natives who dwelt in the neighbourhood of the cow pasture plains, told, the Governor that several of the wild cattle had been killed, imagining this to have been done by the Irish run-a-way convicts, a party of military, with Hacking, was sent out with orders if possible to secure them. After an absence of some days, they returned, having searched the country round, but no traces of the cattle where they had been accustomed to range could be seen, or did they meet any white people. The natives persisted in having seen some of the convicts among them, and said that some calves had been run down by them. This idea was strengthened by finding some short pointed spears, supposed to be made for the killing calves caught.

On the 9th of February, the three men who had been sent out with the Irishmen, so desirous of discovering a way to China, returned so exhausted, that two of them were scarce able to move. Wilson, who was the third, having been in the habit of travelling in the woods, kept them in spirits, and enabled them to reach Prospect-Hill about sunset. Having been in want of food for several days, except a few small birds, the refreshment which they procured had nearly overcome them. The Governor sent a free servant of his with Wilson, who gave an account of the journey; in the following very interesting particulars:

"From Mount Hunter, (which was the highest land then known in that part of the country, and distant from Paramatta from 30 to 34 miles S.W. they departed January 24, travelling S.S.W. for 18 miles, 12 of which was line open country. There they fell in with the river Nepean, winding behind the cow-pasture plains. The banks of the river being exceeding steep and rocky, they had difficulty ii crossing. The other side of the river had a barren appearance; during that day they saw a few kangaroos of a particular kind, having long, black, and brushy tails; with a few birds, which, from the length of the tail feathers they called pheasants.

"On the 25th they continued in their course S.S.W. about six miles. They saw many kangaroos and several emus; met with some natives, one of whom engaged to go with them, if they would halt that night. This agreed to, they had leisure to examine a hill, the face of which appeared white, and proved to be a large cliff of salt, a sample of which they brought away. The next day they inclined to the Westward, and went 16 miles W.S.W. over a rocky country, covered with brushwood. They on the following day, travelled in the same direction, nearly the same distance, in which they got to an open mountainous country, where crossing a small river, they discovered both coal and limestone, and every step the scene improved.

The 28th, they still went W.S.W. and added to their distance 20 miles. In one part they ascended a hill, from which they obtained a view of the country for a great distance. To the Northward it seemed to be open, and thinly clad with timber: to the North-Westward they saw some very high mountains, and apparently good land: to the Westward they saw a deep break, which they thought formed by a river. This day they met with a party of natives, who were terrified, and ran away from them. One of the party followed and came up with a woman and child, whom he detained to tempt the men to return, but though she remained with them all night, the men did not appear. They gave her a small hatchet in the morning, and sent her back. Wilson, though he understood a little of the language of the mountain natives, could not comprehend any thing the woman said, nor could she understand one single word spoken by him.

"These natives were clothed with skins of animals, reaching from their shoulders to their heels, which had a very pleasing effect.

"The 29th, they travelled 24 miles in the same direction. The first four miles the country was not good, being rocky and covered with low shrubs, and intersected with creeks, appearing to run towards some river. At the head of these creeks they saw several water falls, one fell 40 feet, and two others 20 feet each. They now proceeded Northward 12 miles, intending to get round the heads of the creeks; but fell in with more. They then determined to keep W. S. W. but found, the country rocky and barren. They then saw a tree which they had not before noticed, about the size of an apple tree, the leaves of which were of a light blue, and the bark resembled that valuable production of nature, the mahogany tree.

"The party were now nearly exhausted, having had nothing to eat for two days, except a rat. Wilson was willing to go forward; but his companions were now become very unwell, and wished themselves safe home again.

"The 30th, they continued 16 miles in the same direction of W.S.W. In the course of the day they fell in with the head of a river nearly as large as the Hawkesbury, appearing to, run from S.E. to N.W. Its banks were so rocky and steep, that they would have found infinite difficulty in descending them; to which they were strongly invited by the appearance of a level open country on the other side; and Wilson proposed making a canoe to cross over with; but the others were so faint and tired, having had nothing to eat hut the rat and two small birds each, that they were afraid to venture. Their shoes were now worn out, and their feet cut and bruised by walking, so at length they proposed to return.

"This being agreed to, on the 1st of February, they came back S.E. by E. and having walked nine miles, they fell in with many meadows thinly stocked with trees. The hills were slightly covered with timber, and they were light. The ground was good except on the tops of the hills where it was stoney. Here they became much exhausted, and though they saw many birds, they could not approach near enough to shoot any.

"On the 2d, they came E.N.E. over a fine country, formed of meadows, extending some thousands of acres, with very few trees. Towards the evening, having passed the first ridge of mountains, they fell in with a number of kangaroos, one of which they killed, and were much refreshed by it.

"On the 3d, the report of two guns in the S.E. was heard by them, which they answered, but were not returned. Though they had now reached that part of the country Wilson well knew, they must have perished, but for his great exertions. Wilson assured them of their being near Prospect-Hill; which, after much difficulty, they at length reached, at the time they despaired of ever viewing it."

A muster took place on the 14th of February, in every district of the colony, at which all the labourers, either free men or convicts, were obliged to appear. The next morning the settlers were called over, prior to which the Governor informed them, that he had heard much discontent prevailed among them in consequence of some grievances which they complained of. For these, till he was acquainted with the nature of them, he was unable to apply any relief, so he desired they might be made in writing; and to save trouble, he would direct two gentlemen to collect from the settlers such of their distresses and grievances as they wished to make known; and assured them, he had, from his own ideas, forwarded a plan to the Secretary of State, which he hoped would be attended to, and benefit them.

The women and children were then mustered, and proved to form a very considerable part of the settlement.

As the maize ripened the natives resumed their depredations; and on the 19th, the Governor received information from Paramatta, that a man had been murdered near Toongabbe, and three others wounded; and in a few days, two others were killed in the same way, by the same natives. From these circumstances it became requisite to send out several well armed parties, and attack them where they could meet them.

Mr. Bass, the surgeon of the Reliance, now returned from an excursion of 12 weeks in a boat to the Southward. This gentleman, disliking an idle life, and having a good constitution, and being possessed of great sensibility, ingenuity, and observation, requested the Governor to lend him a boat, and allow him to man her with volunteers from the King's ships; proposing to go along the coast to make observations. The Governor consenting, he set out in her; he persevered as far to the Southward as the latitude 40° 00', visiting every opening in the coast; but only in one place, to the Southward and Westward of Point Hicks, finding a harbour capable of admitting ships. There was an appearance of a strait, or rather an open sea, between the latitudes of 39° and 40° South, and that Van Diemen's land consisted (as conjectured) of a group of islands off the Southern coast of the country.

Mr. Bass, on his return, picked up, on an island near the coast, the seven men who were part of those who ran off with a settler's boat, and had been left in this place by their companions. Being incapable of taking them in his boat, he put them on the main land, furnished them with part of his provisions, and a gun for their protection. Two who were ill he took into his boat, and left the other five to march to the Northward, at the distance of upwards of 400 miles from Port Jackson. They were nearly naked, almost starved, and must have perished on the island, had not Mr. Bass discovered a smoke that they had made to draw his attention; which he, being near, took for a smoke made by some natives.

On the 26th of this month there was an unusually heavy fall of rain during the night.

A curious notion was found to prevail among the natives respecting Pe-mul-wy, which must prove fatal to him. Both he and the other natives entertained an opinion, that, from his having been frequently wounded, he could not be killed by our fire-arms. This fancied security tempted the rascal to be at the head of every party that attacked the maize-grounds.

On the 5th of March, a court was held at Paramatta. Writs were issued, and prosecutions for debt commenced, and on the 7th adjourned till the 19th, when it continued sitting until the 24th. The business consisted chiefly respecting debts contracted between the retail dealers and the settlers; and as a proof to what height this business had arrived, it is only to state, that an appeal was made to the Governor in one cause for a debt of the very serious sum of 868l. 16s. l0d. which was withdrawn on the defendant consenting to pay the debt.

The Governor having received from the settlers, by means of the two gentlemen he sent to them (the Rev. Mr. Marsden and Mr. Arndell). a statement of their grievances and distresses, informed them, that he was sorry to see the effects of them at each civil court held. The debts with which they were so frequently burdened, through imposition and extortion, committed by petty dealers who infested the colony, added to the difficulties under which an industrious man laboured, shewed there wanted some mode of providing the necessaries required; these were grievances of which he determined to get the better, and he resolved to adopt every means in his power to give them relief. To begin which he found it necessary to shut many public-houses, which, when permitted, were meant as a convenience to the people; but he saw they were the chief cause from which many confessed their ruin to have sprung.

The island which Captain Hamilton run his ship on, to prevent her sinking with them at sea, was now distinguished by the name of Preservation Island. From which the Francis had arrived with the remaining part of the property. When she was unloaded, the property was put up and sold for the benefit of the underwriters, and fetched the most enormous prices. The money that the settlers should have expended in the improvement of their farms was thus thrown away; and as the wheat of the last season had been received into the public granary, and paid for, money not being scarce, twenty-two shillings were paid for a common cup and saucer.

The Governor wishing to obtain further information respecting the salt-hill Wilson and his companions saw in their late excursion, he sent Hacking there. On his return he brought some samples of various veins of salt in different places, of 10 to 12 feet deep.

While out he was directed to seek for the wild cattle, and reported that a few miles from the place where they were usually found, he met with the most numerous herd yet seen; in which he counted 170, and afterwards saw some stragglers. It was highly satisfactory to know that they were safe.

Those men who carried off the boat of Owen Cavanagh, were heard of again. The end of this month, a report reached Sydney, that a piratical crew infested the harbour of Broken Bay, and the Hawkesbury. The Governor had a letter from these men, in which they professed to repent of their conduct, and intreated forgiveness. They said, they had been wrecked 400 miles to the Northward, when they at last got on shore, saving as much of Cavanagh's boat as enabled them to make a smaller one, and in this they returned, and surrendered themselves, when they were confined for piracy.

The wanton destruction of timber had brought forth an order to prohibit the cutting it down. The practice still continuing, the Francis was sent round to the Hawkesbury, to seize a quantity of timber which had been cut down for private sale. This seizure was of consequence at this time, as a brig was building, from 125 to 150 tons burthen, to replace the Supply, which was condemned, and a large boat, the Cumberland, in the room of that taken away by the crew. The colony was now in such want of naval stores, that the ruin of the craft, lately in such good condition, was nearly effected. The bottoms were destroyed by worms, for want of pitch, tar, paint, and oil; and to render the Francis capable of going to Norfolk Island, with the Reliance, it was found necessary to reduce part of the Supply's sails for her use.

Provisions and stores were now anxiously expected, as 16 months had elapsed since the arrival of the last.

April opened with five men being capitally convicted at a court of criminal judicature, of seizing two boats, with an intent of escaping. One was convicted of a robbery; three were transported to Norfolk Island for 14 years; one for 7; one was adjudged corporal punishment, and one acquitted.

Two of the five, condemned for seizing the boats, suffered at Sydney. Their companions were respited at the place of execution. They seemed penitent, and confessed the justice of their sentence, acknowledging much mischief they had done, and how much more they meditated, had they not been taken.

One man, for robbery, of the name of Mitton, was executed at Paramatta, certainly a fit subject for example. He had been twice pardoned after sentence of death; once in Ireland, and once here for a similar offence for which he now suffered.

Before this man was executed, he confessed that many robberies had been concerted, and were to have been committed by him and others. He mentioned, as the chief instigator, a woman named Robley (the wife of a blacksmith at Sydney), who received all the property collected in this way. Dreading this discovery, she offered to accuse others, or she must have been convicted herself.

A native woman from the Hawkesbury, reported that she had seen the two mares stolen some time since from Paramatta, and that they were in the neighbourhood of that river. She also said, that one of the men who stole them had been killed by the natives, and the other had perished with hunger.

Hacking, when sent to the salt-hill last month, was accompanied by Wilson and another man, who were directed to penetrate as far into the country as the provisions they were able to carry would permit. They returned from an absence of three weeks, and said that they had been 140 miles W. by S. from Prospect Hill. In their journey they travelled over a variety of country, and found more salt hills. They met with some narrow rivers or creeks, and some very extensive tracts of open rich ground. They ascended hills of great height, from which their prospect was extensive, and whence they discovered mountains rising upon mountains to the Westward; all exceedingly high, and they did not meet a single native in all their journey.

The Governor wishing to know the truth of every report that could improve his knowledge of the advantages which this country contained, he sent a party, with a few natives, to learn if there was any salt near Broken Bay. Captain Waterhouse undertaking the search, found the place described, and some salt; it was the produce of the spray; the sea breaking over the rocky parts of the shore in bad weather, and graining down behind, occasioned the quantity of salt among the sand, and on the rocks.

The settlers, little undeserving the attention they met with, were constantly laying complaints before the Governor. A petition was presented from them in April, expressive of the distress they were under, both from the high wages they gave for working their ground, and the immense price paid for all articles requisite to carry on business. And requested the price of maize might be the same as last year.

His Excellency knowing their distresses, and as he was ever ready to listen to any reasonable applications, ordered the commissary to receive it at that price. But they were informed, that they must expect a reduction in the price of grain of every kind to take place.

Another evil oppressed them, which was an unbounded rage for traffic. Even the delivery of grain into the public store houses was completely monopolized, and settlers had few opportunities of getting any thing near the value for their crops, being obliged to dispose of it to those whose greater influence could get it received into the public store.

Orders had been often issued on this subject, directing the storekeepers to give the preference to those whose grain was the produce of their own labour, and to let favour be shewn to the poor settler. These directions had been often frustrated, from the knowledge of which, the Governor was completely kept; on one occasion the store at the Hawkesbury opened to receive 1,500 bushels of wheat, and the whole was engrossed by two or three rich traders, to the exclusion of the farmers, settlers, and others. But the Governor directed, that half the quantity thus partially put in, should betaken away, and room made for the accommodation of those so grossly injured.

A report now prevailed, particularly among the Irish, that an old woman prophesied the arrival of several French frigates, or larger ships of war, who, after destroying the settlement, would liberate and take away all the convicts. This ridiculous tale was circulated with incredible rapidity. In consequence of this, one fellow at work in a gang at Toongabbe, threw down his hoe, and advancing foremost, gave three cheers for liberty. This was well received by his fellow convicts, but a magistrate being at hand, it was put an< end to, by securing this wild Irish advocate, who was tied up, and rewarded by a severe flogging.

In a few days after this circumstance, the Governor visited Toongabbe, and returning to Paramatta, met the prophetess, an old Scotch woman, who, when she saw the Governor, held up her hands, and begged he would for a few minutes listen to her, and she would endeavour to confute the reports propagated in her name. She said, she had heard he was offended with her; and she wished to convince him, that it was totally false, and had arisen from a man, who, as she made a little beer, and sold it to the labouring people, had called for some one day at her hut, and entered into, conversation with her about the expected arrival of ships with stores from England. On this the old woman recounted a dream she had the night before, and from which she was led to hope that ships would soon arrive. Out of this conversation and dream, a story had been fabricated, purporting that this poor old creature had prophesied many extraordinary things.

His Excellency told her he saw through the whole, and desired she would no longer be uneasy about the impression the first account made on him. With this she appeared highly gratified; for she had been much distressed before she had met with this opportunity of informing him from whence this story originated.

On the 2d of May, some of the Irishmen who had for sometime been searching for a road to China, were brought in by the settlers near George's river. They had wandered through the woods till nearly perished for want of food, when they were discovered in an unexpected way. Some people going from Botany Bay up George's river, had lost themselves by following an arm of that river never before looked into. During this mistake, they met these people, whose want of knowledge of the country led them down on a point of land placed between two waters, where they remained nine days, unable to return, and must have perished had not an accidental mistake led the people in the boat to them. The narrative given of their travels and sufferings, were the same as of other similar adventurers, and added one more to the many already recounted to prove that daring folly and extreme ignorance must be acting in strong conjunction over the minds of those who made such attempts.

While such vagabonds were about the country, the safety of a property was in danger. A bull-calf of an officer was stolen from the herd, and though rewards were offered no information transpired.

On the 14th, the Nautilus Brig, arrived from the island of Otaheite, in great distress. This little vessel had lost her passage to the N.W. coast of America, and had been at Kamscatka, the Sandwich Islands, and Otaheite. Being infirm and nearly worn out, the master found it impossible to repair his vessel at either of those places, and had touched at Otaheite for the refreshments they required, and then endeavoured to reach this port, where they hoped to receive that assistance which would enable them to proceed to India.

At Otaheite they found the missionaries sent from England, to propagate the Christian religion, were not on such a footing as they expected to be with the natives, being nearly shut up within their little fortress. The natives had used threats, and made known an intention of taking off their women. The arrival of this vessel in some degree relieved them from the anxiety they had for some time been under, and they determined to leave the island in her. Mr. Bishop, her commander, paid them all the attention the shattered state of the brig permitted, taking on board in all, 19 men, women, and children; and with great difficulty brought them safe to Sydney, the vessel being so leaky as to require the labour of all the company to keep her afloat. She was unable to bring them all, leaving six or seven on the island. Those arrived, were treated with attention, and all possible relief afforded to their distresses.

On the 18th, the Barwell arrived from England, with male convicts, stores, and provisions. The weak state of the public gangs, even made the allotment of villainy which arrived in this ship, an acquisition to the general strength.

The Barwell brought an account (from the Cape of Good Hope.) of the Lady Shore transport being lost on her passage to New South Wales, with 60 convicts, 57 females and 3 males, a large assortment of stores, and a company for the New South Wales corps on board, to whom was owing the loss of the ship; for after murdering the commander, and his first mate, they carried the ship into Rio de la Plata, where she was delivered up to the Spaniards. Thank God, there is no port in the British dominions ever open to receive the traitors of any country.

In the Barwell arrived a new Judge-Advocate*, in the room of Captain Collins, who had resigned. Instructions now came from his Majesty's Ministers to the Governor, on some points he had requested orders, particularly to the number of labouring people who had for such a length of time been allowed to the civil and military officers at the public expense. These instructions limited the number to two; and others they might be inclined to employ were to be maintained and clothed by themselves; or if fed and clothed at the public expense, to be paid for at a certain rate, either in the produce of their farms, or otherways.

[* Mr Richard Dore]

Among the convicts received by the Barwell were some useful mechanics; a truly valuable acquisition, as the Governor would be enabled to discharge several free people.

On the 29th, the Reliance and Francis sailed for Norfolk Island, carrying a proportion of the stores received by the Barwell. On board of the Reliance were sent 100 casks of salt provisions, and 1200 bushels of wheat.

The Governor having received several petitions and complaints from the settlers at Norfolk Island, he caused the following order to be sent thither for their information:—

"From the nature of the difficulties of which the settlers upon Norfolk Island have complained, difficulties which have not until very lately been known to have any existence, the Governor is led to suspect, that the same rage for traffic, and an intemperate indulgence in some of those destructive gratifications which, have so effectually ruined, many of the most forward and promising settlers in New South Wales, have reached Norfolk Island.

"His Excellency, from an earnest desire to promote the prosperity of the island, and the true happiness of its inhabitants, has, since his arrival in this country, availed himself of every opportunity of forwarding for their accommodation a share of such little comforts, as accidental ships may have brought hither. But he is sorry to observe, that instead of those attentions being felt as an advantage, they appear only to operate as an incitement to more extensive dealings; a circumstance which he foresees must end in the ruin of many of the settlers, for whose welfare he is extremely anxious. He therefore urges them not to be led away from their real interest, by speculative ideas, or a desire of indulging in dangerous gratifications, squandering the whole produce of their hard labour in trifles, or in scenes of dissipation which must eventually end in their complete ruin. He desires that they will persevere with patience in the management of their farms and the rearing of stock; and assures them, that he has taken such steps as he hopes will incline the Government to consider the inconveniences which are sustained in this distant part of the world, and induce them to adopt such measures as will procure the colonists, before long, every European article that they may have occasion for at a very moderate expense; and by that means put an effectual stop to the impositions under which the industrious settlers have too long laboured."

At the end of May, the settlers at the Northern farms were much troubled by the natives, who came down in a body, and burnt several houses. This was indeed unfortunate, as those farms had very great industry bestowed on them; and as the land was of a superior quality it had not but for these savages been thrown away.

On the 14th, there was a shower of hailstones of a very large size, most of them measuring six inches in circumference.

The Governor went to Paramatta on the 6th of June, to search for a proper place, for settling as farmers some of the missionaries from Otaheite, who wished to continue in New South Wales; and some free settlers lately sent out by the Government, who with their families arrived from England in the Barwell. It is indeed very much to be lamented, that a single ship was ever suffered to sail from England for this country, without a portion, however small, of such persons, by which means the country would have avoided many of the miseries it was exposed to, in having, comparatively speaking, none but convicts to deal with. On an examination of the country, he pronounced it superior to any that had yet been seen, and in quantity equal to what was wanted. This land was good, well watered, and easy to be cleared, and only distant from five to six miles from Paramatta. Being satisfied with the situation, he kindly recommended it to the missionaries; but some of them seemed so undecided as to give the Governor reason to suspect some busy, ignorant, and wicked person or other had been giving them advice which might terminate much to their disadvantage. However, several determined to settle there, and in consequence received a portion of tools, grain, and other assistance from the public stores.

Messrs. Campbell and Clarke of Calcutta, not discouraged by the fate of their unfortunate ship, the Sydney Cove, sent out another, which, in compliment to the Governor, they called the Hunter, and sent by her an assortment of India goods, and some cows and horses. This vessel arrived on the 10th of the month, when the Governor determined to crush if possible, the spirit of monopoly; to effect which he gave public notice, that the ship had arrived with a cargo for sale, and that every inhabitant might have an opportunity of buying what their circumstances would afford, he directed that no part of the cargo should be sold before the settlers had made known to him what sums of money they could conveniently spare; and a day was appointed to receive their accounts.

Orders were given, that no person should board any ship in the harbour till she was properly secured in the Cove, and the master had been with the Governor and received port orders.

Capt. Hamilton, late of the Sydney Cove, survived the arrival of the Hunter only a few days. He never completely got the better of the distresses he suffered on the loss of his ship, and as the truly worthy, man generally gains esteem, though only a short time in the country, he died much regretted by all who had the pleasure of being acquainted with him.

Complaints having been made, that the people who brought grain from the Hawkesbury to Sydney were practising numerous impositions on the farmers, by false measures; the Governor determined to put a stop to such robbery; directed the magistrates of Sydney and Paramatta to order all measures to be brought to Sydney, to be proved and marked; and made known that any measure used without such mark would subject the owner to a prosecution.

The want of a vessel for a more frequent intercourse with Norfolk Island, having been felt, the commanding officer constructed a small decked boat, sloop rigged, which arrived at Port Jackson on the 15th; but for the want of a harbour at that island, she was launched from the shore, and obliged to proceed directly to sea. In consequence of which she proved very leaky; but as two pumps had been fitted on board her, they were able to keep the water under.

The maize harvest was all got in during June: but some buildings were retarded by the rains which fell at the latter end of it.

The situation of the Governor and other officers, employed in the Government of the country, must have been particularly distressing: ever anxious to protect the good, and to prevent and punish the vile, who on their part were racking their too powerful inventions to elude, if only for a moment, the paternal care which the government took of its subjects. Perhaps if we look back in history we may account for the origin, increase, and growth of despotic governments; from the same causes as that vileness too general among the ignorant, must have caused an increase of severity in those regulations first established for the good of the whole, and thus form eventually, that climax of despotism, which in the more modern periods of history are found overthrown.

On the 1st of July arrived the Cornwall, Southern whaler, the master of which brought an account that some Spanish cruizers had appeared off Cape Horn, the whalers of the Southern fishery were directed to pass into these seas during the war. Tins ship was followed by two others, the Eliza from the Cape of Good Hope, and the Sally.

This circumstance promised some advantages to the settlement. The whale fishing on the coast would most certainly be effectually tried, and the existence, and positions of shoals, harbours, or rivers, be ascertained.

Having in a few days refitted, the 3 whalers sailed on their fishing voyages. Previous to which, the Argo, an American schooner, arrived from the Isle of France, having on board a cargo of salt provisions, French brandy, and other articles on speculation; which, as usual in this country, found a ready sale, much more to the advantage of the owners than the colonists, As this ship came from the Mauritius, the Governor entertained some jealousy, certainly founded on probability; and, as it was not any ways impossible, that, under neutral colours, a spy might be concealed, he thought it requisite to put the battery on Point Maskelyne, into a more secure state, and to construct two redoubts in proper and convenient situations for offensive and defensive warfare, should it prove requisite.

On the 18th arrived the Britannia whaler from England, with 94 female convicts, who being landed, some were sent to Paramatta and Toongabbe. The cattle that were brought in the Hunter, were at this time sold by auction, and were not greater objects of contest than the newly-arrived females, as the number of that sex in the colony bore no proportion to the men.

The Reliance and Francis returned the 25th and 27th of this month, from Norfolk Island, having been absent 60 days; the Reliance, on her passage back, meeting with blowing weather and much sea all the way.

By her, the commanding officer, wrote from Norfolk Island, that a most improper association had been entered into by the settlers and others, which they termed the Fraternal Society of Norfolk Island; and which, among others, had for its object the uniting for the purpose of distressing the Government, by withholding the produce of their farms from the store; in consequence of some misconduct on the part of the store-keepers, who suffered the same monopoly to take place there, as was complained of at Sydney. They wrote at the same time to the Governor, denying giving any name to their meeting, but heavily complaining; that, "after much expense and trouble in rearing swine, the storekeepers would not receive it."

The Governor highly and justly censured this manner of assembling, and in a printed notice which he sent to them, told the inhabitants, that if they felt any grievance, whether real or supposed, they must submit their complaints to the commanding officer of the settlement, by one or two persons elected for that purpose, and not by a numerous body of people. Every other mode of attempting to gain redress was illegal, and could only tend to expose those who might be concerned therein to a very considerable degree of danger, which he would most undoubtedly inflict.

In the course of this month was tried an incorrigible offender, John Raynor, who was convicted of house-breaking, and accordingly executed, which fate he had often merited. He left a letter previous to his execution, in which he enumerated many of the offences he had committed, and denied some with which he had been charged.

Various complaints, were made of the profligacy of the women; who, from having met too much indulgence on account of their sex, were grown, as might be naturally expected, so idle and insolent, that they would not, unless forced, do any thing but nurse their children; an excuse very few were without. If their value might be estimated by the fineness of the children with which they had prodigiously increased the numbers in the settlements, they would have been found deserving every care and attention; but their vices, too conspicuous and prominent to admit of much palliation, rendered them objects of detestation.

The heavy rains which had fallen this month and last, having much damaged the public road between Sydney and Paramatta, two gangs were employed in repairing them. The weather was much colder than usual at this season, and in the interior, there was a sharp frost during the night.

An order having been given in the beginning of August, for assembling the court of civil judicature, a recommendation to the inhabitants was added, "that when any bargain, contract, or agreement, was made between any party or parties, on any subject whatsoever, the same should be reduced to writing, specifying in direct and clear terms what the nature of such bargain or contract might be, and causing the same to be properly witnessed, and subscribed by the parties concerned." This measure was to prevent disputes, litigation, and misunderstandings among them, and to avoid the inconvenience which the members of the court experienced, when convened, from the loose and careless manner in which business was brought before them.

On the 1st of this month the regulation relative to the number of public servants which the officers were allowed to retain, commenced.

It now became too obvious, that, instead of employing each Sunday in the performance of those duties for which that day was set apart, it was passed in committing every vile act of dissipation, the overseers of the gangs were ordered to see their men mustered every Sunday morning, and to attend with them at church. The superintendants and constables were to see this order complied with, and that the women (who, as in all cases when they are really bad, are much worse than the men) were strictly looked after, and made to attend divine service regularly. And, as example was thought might (as inmost cases), do something, the officers were ordered not only to send a number of their servants, but they were all called on, civil and military, to assist in the execution of this order; and the magistrates were required to pay their attention, in compelling a proper obedience to it, by preventing the opening of the public houses during divine service, as well as any other irregularity on that day.

On the 20th, arrived the Pomona and Diana, whalers belonging to the Southern fishery.

The Governor desirous of having that part of the coast surveyed in which a strait was supposed to exist (between the latitude of 39° 00' S. and the land previously deemed the Southern Promontory of New South Wales, and called Van Diemen's land), his Excellency resolved to send Mr. Bass, and Lieut. Flinders of the Reliance, on that service, in the small decked boat which lately arrived from Norfolk Island, which was named the Norfolk, after the Island on which she was built, for which purpose she was properly fitted up.

The powder magazine having been found to be in an insecure and dangerous state, the pow der was removed on board the Supply. This indeed was very necessary, for an attempt had been made to break open the door of the magazine.

The mind, fatigued by the enormities of the convicts, will at least find relief by contemplating the transactions of those, from whose nature nothing but savage actions can well be expected, for in this way the natives now claim attention.

A young female, related to Bennillong, who had resided from infancy at Sydney, was shockingly murdered; and a native of Botany Bay had driven a spear through the body of a lad called Nanberrey. The name of the girl was War-re-weer; but to distinguish her, as there were others of that name, an addition was made founded on a personal defect, she being blind of one eye, she was called War-re-weer Wo-gul Mi (one eye), The girl being killed, and Nanbarrey wounded, caused great violence from their friends, among which were Cole-be and Bennillong; the former meeting with the man who wounded the boy, revenged the treatment he received so completely that the murderer died of his wounds the next morning. Bennillong, in consequence of this, was attacked when alone by two men, and defended himself with the greatest address, and would have defeated both, had they kept fairly in front; but one of them, with the treachery very common to those savages, skulked behind, and threw a spear with such violence that it entered his side seven inches into the cavity of his body. He was taken on board the Reliance, where at first the wound was attended with very unfavourable symptoms as nothing remained on his stomach.

As the death of the young man slain by Cole-be was of course to be revenged, a body of the Southern natives fought those of Sydney for that purpose a few days after. The contest was carried on with much desperation on both sides; three natives were killed, and many wounded, among whom was Bennillong, who, having recovered of his wound, appeared and fought on this occasion for Cole-be, like a good, honest, faithful, friend.

The weather, which in the last month was remarkably cold, but at the end of this was sultry, accompanied by high winds, which set many parts of the country on fire, and destroyed much property; when the Surveyor-General's house, and every article in it, was consumed.

The Barwell being ready for sea, sailed on the 17th of August for China. Capt. Cameron, her commander, was permitted to take on board fifty men who had completed their period of transportation, and kindly offered to touch at Norfolk Island for any purpose the Governor might wish. By this ship Mr. Campbell, who arrived in the Hunter from Bengal, took his passage to China; and by this gentleman the Governor sent a letter to the Governor-General of India, informing him, that "having transmitted to the Secretary of State, copies of the letters upon the subject of raising recruits in this country for the army in India, which had been received in the year 1796, it was the opinion of his Majesty's Ministers, that the inconveniencies attending such a measure would more than counterbalance the advantages of it, and permission for that purpose could not therefore be granted."

Indeed, had it been carried into execution, the army in India would not have been much benefited; since, if the recruiting officers were as nice as their instructions directed them to be as to the point of character, small would be the number of recruits.

In order to encourage the rearing of swine, as well as of every other live-stock, the settlers and others had notice given them that when any of them had prepared any number fit for the public store, they might make it known to the Commissary, who to prevent unnecessary expense or trouble, would inform them of the day and place he would receive them. He was also at liberty to contract for a given time, with any persons who would furnish either of the public stores at Sydney, Paramatta, or the Hawkesbury.

The Hunter Snow, Fern, commander, having found a voyage to New South Wales was no bad speculation, resolved to derive some profit from his return, as it was understood, when he sailed on the 20th, that he was bound for New Zealand, for the purpose of cutting spars for the Bengal market.*

[* Mr. Robert Campbell, who returned to Port Jackson, said, that Capt. Fern proceeded to the river Thames in New Zealand, where his crew cut down a quantity of spars, large enough to load his vessel; and being short of hands, he could not have shipped them, but that the natives with much alacrity assisted in getting them to the water's side.]

Two men who had been exploring the country to the North West of Richmond Hill and the river Hawkesbury, found the bones of two mares which had been stolen from Paramatta.

On the 1st of October, the Semiramis, from Rhode Island, bound to China, arrived, after a passage of three months and nine days.

In the evening of the same day, the church on the East side of the Cove was discovered to be on fire. Every assistance was given, but ineffectually; for as the building was covered with thatch, which was exceedingly dry, it was completely consumed in an hour.

This was a great loss and calculated to impede the progress of morality, as during the week it was used as a school, for 200 children to be educated, under the Rev. Mr. Johnson. As the Church stood alone, and no person was suffered to remain in it after the school hours, there was no doubt that it was the effect of design, in consequence of the late order to enforce attendance on divine service which had been rigidly executed; with a view of rendering, by the destruction of the building, the Sabbath a day of as little decency and sobriety as any other. The perpetrators were, however, disappointed; for the Governor, justly deeming this to have been the motive, and highly irritated at such a shameful act, resolved, if no convenient place could be found for the performance of public worship, that Sunday, instead of being employed as each thought proper, the labouring gangs should be employed that day in erecting another church. However, as a large store-house was just finished, it was fitted up as a church; and thus not one Sunday did this wicked design affect the regular performance of divine service.

A reward of 30l. was offered for the discovery of the offender, with emancipation to the informer if a convict, and a recommendation to the master of a ship to take him or her from the settlement. But rewards and punishments alike failed to effect any good among the convicts.


[Bass and Flinders explore Van Diemen's Land]

ON the 7th of October, the Semiramis and Argo sailed for China; and the Nautilus Brig, with the Norfolk long-boat, sailed for Van Diemen's land. The Nautilus, which had been in extreme distress for every kind of repair, was completely refitted; but as two men, who had the care of the cargo with which she was sent out from India, had been very unfortunate through the bad state of their vessel, they were determined to try during this season, how productive the seal-fishing among the islands to the Southward would prove.

On the 8th sailed the Francis for Norfolk Island, with a few women and stores. It was intended she should on her return, examine a shoal on the Northward of Lord Howe Island, and, if possible, ascertain the situation of an island discovered by Lieut. Shortland, in the Alexander transport, and named by him Sir Charles Middleton Island. Lieut. John Shortland, of the Reliance, son of the before-mentioned officer, was sent in the Francis, charged with the direction of the vessel on that service.

On board the Norfolk sailed Lieut. Flinders and Mr. Bass, who were instructed to examine the strait supposed to divide Van Diemen's land from the continent.

The great rage for trade before spoken of, prevailing so universally in the colony, occasioned continual scenes of contentions and litigation among the inhabitants; so much that inconvenience was felt in the liberties taken of imprisoning the convicts, servants of the crown, for debts due to the dealers, notwithstanding an order which was given by Governor Phillip, in which the colony were informed, that the public servants (convicts) had no property, their clothing, time, and labour, being the property of Government, and not at their own disposal. This order having wilfully worn out of recollection, it was become requisite to renew it, and thus prevent that loss of labour on the public works which imprisoning their persons must occasion. Notice was therefore again given, that the servants of the crown should not be imprisoned; and if any person was desirous of giving them credit, it must be on the strength of their own good opinion of such people; and it was now again to be generally understood, that government would not dispense with their labour for any private dealings.

On the 11th in the evening, a fire broke out in the town of Sydney, which, but for great care and activity, would have destroyed every house on the East side. A row of buildings lately erected for the nurses and others employed in and about the hospital, was set on fire, and consumed; and the flames nearly reached the boat-yard.

On the 20th of October, the Ann and Hope, an American ship, anchored in Botany Bay, contrary winds having prevented her reaching Port Jackson. The master wanted wood and water, and as three days proved time enough to procure them, at their expiration he sailed for China.

At the end of this month the Governor made an excursion among the settlers at Hawkesbury; and while there, made several regulations for the sawyers, who fixed their own portion of the public labour. His Excellency informed them that a session was to be held every three months for settling all civil concerns in future. The farms he found in general promising the greatest plenty, but the houses and persons of the settlers wore the appearance of poverty and beggary, as they still continued converting the produce of their farms to the purpose of obtaining pernicious spirits which must ever keep them poor and wretched.

On the 27th, the Marquis Cornwallis arrived from the Cape of Good Hope, with cattle on Government account, amounting to 158 cows and 20 bulls, and a few on private account. When landed, some appeared weakly; but generally speaking, they were in good health, and proved a vast acquisition to the colony; some of the cows being a mixed breed between the Cape and English cattle, and the whole seemed to be under the age of three years.

At the same time arrived the Indispensable, a Southern whaler, commanded by Mr. Wilkinson, but she sailed again immediately.

During this month the foundation of a stone building intended for a church, was laid at Sydney. It was intended to be 150 feet in length, and 52 in breadth. Similar preparations were making at Paramatta, but of a smaller size than those at Sydney.

In November the criminal court of judicature met twice, for the trial of several offenders; one of whom convicted of perjury, stood in the pillory agreeable to his sentence.

Bennillong, who might have continued living at the Governor's house, preferred the dangerous society of his own countrymen, only visiting the settlement when the recollection of the comforts he could no where else enjoy, oppressed him too powerfully. Information was brought of his having again been wounded in a contest with some of the other natives. Bennillong had received and recovered of many wounds, any single one of which would have destroyed an European. The natives certainly owe their fortunate recoveries more to their good habit of body than to any other cause.

A fatal instance of effects of improper conduct, and keen sense of criminality, was exemplified in the melancholy end of Nathaniel Franklin, the Governor's steward. This man he brought from England, and intrusted the entire care and management of his domestic concerns to him. He had been very often cautioned by his Excellency against the various artful and (fatiguing acquaintances he had formed, and was particularly desired to guard against not suffering himself to be led away by their opinions. It appeared he had, very unfortunately, not possessed fortitude enough to withstand their infernal solicitations, but had consented to rob his kind protector, the Governor, to a very large amount; thus abusing the unlimited confidence he had placed in him, and made a most iniquitous use of his name. At length touched by the glaring infamy of his conduct, he retired into a shrubbery in the Governor's garden, and there shot himself through the head; thus at once shewing the divine truth of that excellent proverb, "evil communications corrupt good manners".

The continual complaints made daily respecting the misconduct of the convict women, made it requisite to take some steps which should make them clearly understand the nature of their situation in the colony, and the several duties they were liable to perform. The Governor therefore desired every officer or house-keeper, who had any female servant, to forward to the Judge-Advocate's office, the names of those employed; and he forbid them to shield from public labour any but those they were permitted to retain; and if at any time they might wish to discharge any such servants, to send information of such design, with a character of the person, to the same office.

Time which destroys every thing in all parts of the world, in his ravages, seemed particularly anxious to shew his power in New South Wales, where, though building had been but a very few years attempted, many had been rebuilt, and at this time the roof of the Government house at Paramatta was falling in, and the building on being surveyed, was found so weak and decayed as not to admit of repairs; therefore it was resolved to take it down, and build a new one; for which purpose a number of brick-makers were sent to the neighbourhood.

The ship's company of the Supply were actively and usefully employed at Sydney, in constructing a half-moon battery on the East point of the Cove, where stood the house built for Bennillong by Governor Phillip.

On the 25th, a violent burst of thunder, with whirlwinds, was felt, by which several buildings were considerably damaged.

On the 3d of December, when the departure of the Marquis Cornwallis took place, for Bengal, several convicts were taken from the settlement without the formality of permission.

The harvest began last month was completed this. Of the abundance fondly expected, all were disappointed; owing to an unfortunate drought in the course often months, the wheat did not turn out more than one-third the quantity of grain, that there was a rational expectation it would have produced, had the season been otherwise.

At the conclusion of the harvest a slight disturbance took place among the Irish convicts at Toongabbe. Each man and woman who had been employed, having received a small quantity of spirits and water, which was ordered to be given them, its first effect was cheerful pleasantry, but it terminated in riot; a circumstance by no means uncommon with those people. They were however soon separated and sent to their huts.

On the 19th, the Francis arrived from Norfolk Island, leaving all there in good health. Lieut Shortland, agreeable to his directions, searched for Sir Cha. Middleton Island and shoal, and returned with his journal, and a chart of the several traverses he made in quest of the island, and compared them with some made by Lieut. (now Captain) Ball, of his Majesty's armed brig Supply, when sent by Governor Phillip on the same pursuit. The extensive range taken by those officers in the search, and not having met with any indications of land near that situation, left little reason to believe the existence of an island. That of the shoal was not doubtful; and, although Mr. Shortland did not fall in with it, yet as a shoal had been seen near the spot in which that reef was laid down, there was every reason to believe that a bank Or shoal did exist thereabout; but its exact situation in point of latitude and longitude had not yet been correctly fixed, nor was its extent supposed to be so great as was at first believed.

The 25th, was properly observed as Christmas-day, in the evening the Nautilus arrived from the Southward. She had been at Preservation Island, where, and in the neighbouring islands, she had been successful in seal-catching. The master left 14 of his people on the island of Cape Barren, to provide as many skins and as much oil as they could against his return. Those he brought with him were in a few days sold at Sydney.

The Indispensable and Britannia whalers, which had been fishing on the coast, returned on the 29th to repair and refresh their crews. They had cruized from the latitude of 32° 00', to 35° 00' and not farther from the coast than from. 20 to 30 leagues, and thought themselves successful, one having got 54, and the other 60 tons of spermaceti oil.

The Eliza put into Botany Bay, to wood and water; but though much longer at sea had not met with equal success, obtaining only 45 tons of oil. The master said he saw off the N.E. part of New Caledonia, a ship on shore on a reef, the lower masts of which were above water; but the weather being thick and hazy, and blowing too fresh to allow him to examine her; but as a piece of a boat, seemingly part of a whale-boat, floated near him, he judged it to be the wreck of a whaler; and he also fell in with a seriously dangerous and extensive shoal, lying N.N.W. 40 leagues from Sandy Cape, on the coast of New South Wales. It was so extensive, that finding himself on it, and not being able to get back, it took him some considerable time to run through it.

Three deaths happened this month out of the regular course: a woman died of the bite of a snake; another was drowned in attempting to land at Norfolk Island; and on the 19th died, suddenly, Mr. Stephenson, the storekeeper at Sydney. His death was not in the usual way, neither had been the last few years of his life; for by an upright conduct, and a faithful discharge of the duties of his office, he secured to himself the approbation of his superiors. He had been emancipated for his good behaviour, and thus enabled to execute the office of storekeeper.

As the election of constables took place annually in December, the magistrates were requested to be very particular in the persons returned for that purpose; as there was reason, from many causes, to fear, that the frequent escapes of prisoners from goal, must have been attended with that uniform success they met with, by the constables being tampered with, so shameful was their neglect of that duty entrusted to their care.

The wheat harvest over, the country, as happened too generally at this season, was in many places on fire, when every person engaged in farming was reminded of the necessity of exerting themselves to secure their crops, against accidents by fire. An admonition one would have thought by no means requisite, as it so very materially concerned their own interest; but it serves to shew that those not anxious for the public good, were careless even of their own. In the early part of December, the thermometer at the Hawkesbury stood at 107 degrees.

Many persons were much afflicted with inflammations of the eyes, accompanied with extreme pain, which was supposed by the faculty to be occasioned by the dry, sultry weather which prevailed some time. Dysenteric complaints, which were attributed to the water, most of the runs and springs being nearly dried up. The tanks cut in the rocks, below the stream by order of Governor Phillip had proved of the greatest utility.

The seamen of the Supply finished a half-moon battery this month, and part of that ship's guns were mounted in it, and thus formed a very respectable addition to the strength of the colony's defence.

Among other works, some were employed in white-washing the houses in Sydney, and repairing the buildings which required it; an highly necessary attention once in very year, for the general preservation; the re-construction of which, if suffered to decay, was attended with a great expense both of money and labour, the latter of which was of more consequence than the former as there were but few comparatively to work, and small indeed was the quantity of it to be obtained from them.

The live-stock and the ground in cultivation, will be seen to have very much increased this year, by the following account of each.


  Horned Cattle. Sheep. Goats.
 Horses.   Mares.   Bulls and 
 Cows.   Hogs.   Male.   Female.   Male.   Female. 
44 73 163 258 2867 1459 2443 787 1880


  Acres in Wheat.     Acres in Maize.     Acres in Barley  
4659 1453 57½

If to the increase of live-stock, and cultivated land, could be added an increase of morality or improvement among the convicts, it would afford the mind infinite satisfaction, but alas! the earth itself and the beasts of the field have shown forth the bounty of the creator; while these beings have lived only to profane the name and goodness of him who suffered them to exist.


On the 2d of January, 1779 [1799?], several certificates were given to convicts who had completed their terms of transportation; and that no one might have the power of making a plea of injustice being exercised with respect to their servitude, a rule was made several times during the year, to issue certificates to such as were entitled to them; and if they desired to be at their own disposal, they were struck off the victualling books. Many convicts sent out had not more than two years to serve on their arrival, proved, by claiming their discharge, a considerable drawback from the number of labourers in Norfolk Island and New South Wales. By these means were let loose on the public, a number of worthless characters, who became very dangerous and troublesome, refusing every kind of labour, though they neglected not to form connections with the worthless part of the inhabitants, who from their peculiar situations, had many opportunities of affording information where robberies of all kinds could be most readily and successfully committed. Still, as the sentenced period had expired, there was no denying them without injustice, the restoration of their freedom. The convicts in general had for several months suffered much, for want of clothing and bedding, for, during the late harvest they laboured in the fields, as totally divested of clothing as any native savages in the country. In consequence of which many anonymous letters were dropped, in which were threatened what vile actions would be effected at the season they knew many opportunities would offer.

About this time, when certificates were to be granted, a numerous body, particularly of Irish convicts, many of whom had only lately reached the country, asserted in the most turbulent manner "their times were out", nor would they at first he persuaded they laboured under, a mistake; when growing insolent, they used threats; on which some of the most daring were secured and punished, after which they went peaceably to their work.

The unfortunate produce of the harvest, now proved a most serious cause of regret, for the wheat was little more than straw; and the maize burnt in the ground for want of rain. Indeed from the establishment of the colony, so long a drought and great continuance of heat had not been known. The country was now nearly every where in flames, and even the wind was parching, and a very few showers which fell proved of no advantage, being instantly drawn up by the excessive heat.

On January the 12th, arrived the Norfolk, with Lieut. Flinders and Mr. Bass, from the examination of Van Diemen's land, of which voyage these gentlemen gave the following interesting particulars:

Sailing, as stated, in October last, on the 11th, when nearly off Cape Howe, they were met by a fresh gale at S.W. on which they bore up, gained, and cast anchor in Twofold Bay. Mr. Bass had visited this Bay when on the coast before in the whale-boat; but had not then an opportunity to examine it as he wished, but now he ascertained Twofold Bay to be situated at the South end of a chain of hills, one part of which is more conspicuous than the rest, laying behind the bay. The land on the West side of this chain of hills, is both high and rocky. The shore divided into steep cliff heads, with small beaches; the one formed by the foremost ridges, and the others by the sand thrown up at the foot of the vallies, and ponds of brackish water were found behind the beaches.

The sudden rise of the hills permit the vegetable earth to be washed down into the vallies, and some of the gradual slopes retain enough of it to produce a thick coat of grass; however the soil partakes too much of the stoney quality of the higher parts for cultivation.

The hills and vallies produce large timber and brush-wood; on the hills, the brush-wood grows in small clumps; but in the vallies it not only covers all the surface, but is bound together by creeping vines of various sizes.

In the S.W. corner of the bay, is a small inlet that communicates with the sea, through the beach at the back of which it lies. The chain of hills here runs back some distance from the water, and leaving some miles of good ground, through which the inlet takes its course to the S.W. for six or eight miles, where it ends in swamps and marshes. On its banks they saw some hundred acres of alight sandy soil, in patches of from 50 to 100 acres each; but on the mountain side, it soon became stoney, and on that next the inlet it was wet and salt.

The country on the back of the bay is formed of round stoney hills hardly fit for pasturage, but covered with timber, and patches of short brush-wood.

On the South side, they found another shallow inlet, larger than the other, running in by the end of a beach, and winding along to the S.S.W. with little low ground on its borders, but the returning tide did not allow them time to proceed to its head.

On the East side, the hills not being either steep or prominent, several large slopes of good though sandy soil, were discovered to have been formed. Some of which extended to the water, well covered with grass, and thinly set with timber, which formed a beautiful appearance from the bay. Speaking of the land round the bay, these Gentlemen observed, it might be said it was more barren than productive; that there were several spots of tolerable good, and some of excellent soil; but the greater part incapable of cultivation, and fit only for pasturage.

The most common timber they saw was a species of gum tree, the bark of which on the trunk is that of the iron bark of Port Jackson; and its leaf, that of the gum tree; its branches near the head are of a yellow colour, smooth, and resembling the barked limbs of trees. The wood longer grained, and tougher, splitting with more truth than any other kinds of the gum tree.

The natives in person were similar to those about Port Jackson, but their language was unintelligible. They used canoes, and seemed to well know the value of them; for on rowing round the point of Snug Cove, when Mr. Bass was on a former visit, a party of them paddled on shore, took their canoes upon their heads, and ran off with them to the woods. However, they did not now appear quite so shy as formerly; and there was every reason to imagine that a friendly intercourse might have been established.

As the very few spears seen here were made of solid wood, Messrs. Bass and Flinders conjectured, that the grass reed spear used by the natives of Port Jackson was not known among these people.

Few marks of the kangaroo were seen, and both quadrupeds and birds appeared to be far less numerous here than in most other places. The dogs accompanying the voyagers found a porcupine ant-eater, which they could make no impression on; he escaped by burrowing in the loose sand, sinking himself directly downwards, and not head foremost, thus presenting his prickly back, opposed his adversaries to the last.

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[In this respect, Van Diemen's land resembles New South Wales, where the Porcupine Ant Eaters are likewise to be seen in very great numbers. They are very good eating; they burrow like rabbits, and have a long tongue, which when they put out of their mouth, the Ants immediately croud upon it as if they were lured by a kind of charm.

The Koolah, or Sloth, having a false belly, is also found here. This animal when it ascends a tree, never quits it till it has stripped it of its leaves. It is mostly found to the southward and northward of Broken Bay, among the deep ravines. Wherever the leaves of the gum tree are found eaten off, it is a certain sign that this creature is near. It is usually found with a companion, in a manner folded together. Two stuffed specimens of these are to be seen in Mr. Bullock's Museum.

A species of the Hyena has lately been seen at Port Dalrymple, extremely fierce, having a very large mouth, strong sharp claws, and very strongly limbed. It is striped all over, and being of the Opossum kind, has also a false belly. This creature here does not attack human beings, but confines its ravages to sheep and poultry.

The Flying Mice here are very handsome. Their tail resembles a feather; the belly is white, and the back brown. The down which covers this little creature, is as soft as satin.

Many of the reptiles in this country have lately been found to be of a venemous nature. The bite of the several kinds of Coluber, or Snake, has proved fatal in various instances. It is very remarkable that at Norfolk Island, about three hundred leagues from the nearest coast of New South Wales, there are no reptiles to be found of any description, though at Philip Island, only seven miles distant, several kinds are found, particularly the Centepede, the Tarantula, &c.

The Deer in the colony, originally from India, thrive very well; and though not so fat as in England, are supposed to be of superior flavour.

Native green currants grow wild, and make an uncommonly fine jelly. A wild cherry is also found in the settlement, with the stone on the outside, of a red colour; but nearly unfit to eat; as also a wild fig, full of seed, equally as unpalatable as the cherry, though eaten by the natives. Strawberries grow to great perfection; but no English currant, gooseberry or cherry trees. Pines, far exceeding those in England, are now growing on the colony. Melons are large, and plentiful. Botany Bay greens are abundant; they much resemble sage in appearance; and are esteemed a very good dish by the Europeans, though disliked by the natives. Some coffee trees were planted by a French settler, but he died before he could bring them to perfection.

With respect to flowers, Geraniums flourish in such abundance that they are formed into hedges in various parts of the settlement. They are always in leaf and flower, and emit a most fragrant odour to a great distance.

Cedar and Coals are the produce of the Newcastle District.—Manna has also been found near Port Dalrymple; but the most valuable of recent discoveries are the white, yellow, and large brilliant topazes, exceeding in worth those of the Brazils.

The Spice tree found here is a very strong aromatic, and possesses a more pungent quality than pepper. It produces a berry, which as well as the bark, is of a very powerful spicy nature. Fustic, a wood which makes the finest yellow dye, has been discovered at Newcastle, in New South Wales. The indigo found in different parts could never be brought to perfection.

But to return to Van Diemen's Land:]

A few ducks, teal, herons, cranes, and red-bills were seen on the lagoons, and some flights of curlews and plovers.

The rocks consist of hard clay, mixed with great numbers of small stones, variously coloured, some with red, others with yellow. Some calcareous spar lay scattered on the surface of the ground; strata of which were deposited in fissures formed in the bodies of the locks.

Leaving Twofold Bay, they proceeded to the Southward, and on the 17th, made a small cluster of Islands, in latitude 38° 16', which now bears the name of Kent's Group. These arc six: or seven in number, of various sizes. Their height is considerable, and as irregular in figure as can well be imagined. This group appears formed of granite, which is imperfectly concealed by long straggling dwarfish brush, and some few still more diminutive trees. Nature is either working slowly on these islands, or has ceased to work on them, since a more deserted place is no where to be met with. The birds seemed not to frequent them in their usual numbers. Indeed there was nothing to tempt the explorers even to land.

Passing Kent's Group, and standing to the Southward, next morning Furneaux's Islands were in sight, and on the following day they anchored at Preservation Island, which is one of them. These islands, from what was now and before seen of them by Mr. Bass, appeared to consist of two kinds, perfectly dissimilar in figure, but alike in the materials they are formed of. Both are of granite; but the one is low, and rather level, with a soil of sand covered with brush-wood and tufted grass: the other is high and rocky, and cut into a variety of peaks. Some vegetable soil lies on these, and the vegetation is large; and trees of a tolerable size are produced in some places. There are attached to some parts of these islands low sandy land, of the same height with the lower islands.

Preservation Island, is of the humble class of islands and of a moderate height. A surface of sand, mixed with vegetable soil, scarcety hides from view the base of granite. In several places vast blocks of this stone lie scattered about, as free from vegetation and the injuries of weather as if they had but just fallen; and, what is remarkable, most of them are entirely detached from the stone on which they rest. It seemed that these blocks had fallen from some place higher than on which they were found; but that was at the same time deemed impossible, for they were then higher than any other part of the island. It is certainly more probable, that subterraneous or volcanic fire might have caused their appearance.

The bulk of these blocks render them so conspicuous, that the attention is first taken by them on approaching the island. But, besides granate, there is on the North side, where the island is lowest, a slip of calcareous earth, which discovers itself near the surface of the water. It is not pure, for broken pieces of the granite are mixed with it. Some parts are a mere mass of these pieces, cemented by the calcareous matter; others are a perfect chalk, and may be burnt into excellent lime. Broken sea shells and other exuviæ of marine animals are apparent throughout the whole mass.

Upon the beach near this chalky rock, were found a considerable quantity of black metallic particles, which appeared in the granite as black shining specks, and are undoubtedly grains of tin.

It excited much surprise to find this bed of the remains of shell animals, of which chalk is formed wherever found; and Mr. Bass endeavoured to investigate the cause of this deposit, by examining the neighbouring parts; on which he was of opinion, that as traces of the sea, and of the effects of running waters, were discernable in various parts of the island, and particularly in the vicinity of this deposit, it seemed probable it had been formed by two streams of the tide, which when the island was beneath the surface of the sea, having swept round a large lump of rock, then met and formed an eddy, where every substance must fall to the bottom. The lump of rocks is a rocky knowl, which runs from the opposite side of the island nearly to the chalk. On each side is a gap, through which the two streams have passed.

The vegetation of the island seems starved; consisting only of a few stunted trees; some patches of brush-wood, almost impenetrable; tufts of sour wiry grass, and many low saltish plants, principally of the creeping kind.

A spot on the East end of the island exhibited a phenomenon not easily explicable by any laws of that class of natural history to which it could be referrible.

In a patch of naked sand, on one of the most lofty parts of the island, not less than 100 feet above the sea, within a few hundred yards, lay scattered a number of broken branches of dead trees, from one to three inches in diameter, and apparently of a kind similar to the large brush-wood. Amid these branches were seen sticking up several white stoney stumps, of sizes ranging between the above diameters, and in height from a foot to a foot and an half. Their form, together with a number of prongs, projecting in different directions around their base, and entering the ground in the manner of roots, presented a striking resemblance to the stumps and roots of trees. They were extremely brittle, a slight blow with a stick, being sufficient to break them; and when taken into the hand, they broke to pieces with their own weight.

When broke transversely, it was seen that the internal was divided into interior or central, exterior or cortical. The external part, which occupied various proportions of the whole, resembled a fine white and soft grit-stone; but acids being applied to them, shewed it to be combined with a considerable portion of calcareous matter. The interior or central part was always circular, seldom found the same diameter, or of the same composition, on any two stumps. In some, the calcareous and sandy matter had taken entire possession, so that the wood was completely obliterated; but yet a central ring remained. In others was a center chalk, quite white, which crumbled between the fingers to powder; some consisted of chalk and brown earth, and others had detained a few portions of their woody fibres, the spaces between which were filled up with chalk or earth.

It appeared, when the people of the Sydney Cove came on the island, the pieces of dead branches at this time lying round the stumps, then formed, with them, the stem and branches of dead trees completely. But by this time curiosity, and the frolics of the horse landed from the Sydney Cove, had reduced them to the state described.

Mr. Bass had been told that the trees when in a complete state, rose from the stoney part; and that a living leaf was seen upon the upper branches of one of them. But he could never learn whether the stoney part of the stem was of an equal height in all the trees.

To ascertain to what depth the petrification descended, Mr. Bass scratched away the sand from the foot of many of the stumps, and in no instance found it to have proceeded more than three or four inches beneath the surface of the sand, for at that depth the remains of the root came to view. There were parts of the roots which had undergone an alteration similar to that which had taken place in the stems: these established the limits of the petrifying power; for they had felt it only either at their outset from the bottom of the stems, or when, being obstructed in their progress, they had arched upwards to the surface.

In accounting for the cause that produced this change in the structure of the lower parts of the stems of these trees, Mr. Bass professed the greatest diffidence. He found that all his conjectures were best supported by existing facts, allowing however, they were petrifactions, it is certain that there must have existed a pond, in which the petrifying water was contained; but the ground in their neighbourhood retained no traces of such a receptacle. There were, indeed, near them, some few lumps or banjos of sand, and vegetable earth held together by dead roots of small trees, and elevated above the rest of the ground, but the relative position of these with each other was so confused and irregular, that nothing but the necessity of a once existing reservoir could ever lead any one to conjecture that these might have been parts of its bank. Mr. Bass concluded that this must have been the case, and that the remainder of the bank had been torn away, and the pond annihilated by some violent effort of nature.

Notwithstanding the narrowness of the island, many small kangaroos were found in its brushy parts; but so many had been destroyed by the people of Sydney Cove, that they now became scarce.

The sooty petrel had appropriated a certain grassy part of the island to herself, and retained her position with a degree of obstinacy not easily to be overcome. For though it so happened, that the store-house for the wrecked cargo was erected upon the spot, and the people for more than a year gained the greater part of the food from these birds, and were continually walking over their habitations, yet at the end of that time the returning flights in the evening were as numerous as they had been on their first arrival.

When Mr. Hamilton, the commander of the Sydney Cove, quitted the house, he left two hens sitting upon their eggs, some breeding pigeons, and a bag of rice; but no traces were now to be discovered either of the birds or their food. Probably as long as they continued in doors, they did well; but that, when forced by necessity to go abroad for food, they fell a sacrifice to the rapacity of the hawks.

Several snakes with venemous fangs were found; but, no person had been bit by them, so that the degree of their power was unknown.

The water of the island was imagined to have been injurious to the health of people of the Sydney Cove. Being supposed to contain arsenic, which seemed highly probable from an experiment made with the metallic particles, which were thought to be tin. A fume of which bore many marks of arsenic arising from the crucible during the time of smelting it. Water was very scarce while these people were upon the island; but, owing to some unusual falls of rain, several little runs and swamps were found by Mr. Bass; and a low piece of ground where they deposited their dead was now a pond of an excellent quality.

Although he had seen but few of the low islands of Furneaux, yet Mr. Bass had not any doubt but that this account of Preservation Island would in general answer for the description of any of them.

He next describes what he saw of Cape Barren Island, which he understood, from the people of the Nautilus snow, was an exact specimen of those of the higher kind, so far as they had observed of them.

Cape Barren Island, which takes its name from the cape so called by Captain Furneaux, is a small island when compared with that lying to the northward of it. From what was seen of it in the sloop, it could only be conjectured that these two were separate Islands; but Mr. Bishop had passed in the Nautilus through the channel that divides them.

This island is one of the higher kind that consists of both high and low land. The high part composed of granite, in many places, in others clothed with small gum trees, which draw their support through some small quantity of vegetable earth lodged by the broken blocks and fragments of stone, and some straggling brush-wood shooting up round the trees.

The base of the low part is granite; the surface chiefly sand; its produce, variety of brush-wood, with some few small gum trees, and a species of fir, that grows tall and straight to the height of twenty or twenty-five feet. Within the body of the brush there are several clear spots, where the ground is partly rocky or sandy, partly wet and spongy. These are somewhat enlivened by beautiful flowering heath and low shrubs, but have a dark aspect. A grass tree grows here, similar to that about Port Jackson, except that no reed, either living nor dead, could be found belonging to it. In the brushes, were a few tufts of grass; but the greater part of it was the coarse sort that grows in hassocks.

It is curious that a place where food seemed to be so scarce should yet be thickly inhabited by the small brush kangaroo, and a new quadruped, also a grass-eater.

This animal, being a new one, appears to deserve a particular description. "The Wom-bat (or Womback) is a thick, short-legged, inactive quadruped, with appearance of every strength, and bigger than a turnspit dog. Its figure and movements, strongly bring to mind the bear.

"Its length, from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose, is thirty-one inches, of which its body is twenty-three and five-tenths. The head of this curious animal is seven inches. Its circumference behind the fore-legs, twenty-seven inches; across the thick part of the belly, thirty-one inches. Its weight is between twenty-five and thirty pounds. The hair coarse, and about one inch in length, thin on the belly, thicker on the back and head, and thickest upon the loins and rump; the colour of it a sandy brown, of varying shades, darkest along the back.

"The head is large and flattish, and, when looking the animal full in the face, seems, excluding the ears, to form nearly an equilateral triangle, any side of which is about seven inches in length, but the upper side, or that which constitutes the breadth of the head, is the shortest. The hair upon the face lies in regular order, as if it were combed, with its ends pointed upwards in a kind of radii, from the nose.

"The ears are sharp and erect, of two inches and three tenths in length, stand well asunder, and are in nowise disproportionate. The eyes are small, and rather sunk than prominent, but quick and lively. They are placed about two inches asunder, a little below the centre of the imaginary triangle towards the nose. The nice co-adaption of their ciliary processes, which are covered with a fine hair, seeming to afford the animal the power of excluding whatever may be hurtful.

"The nose is large and spreading, the nostrils large, and capable of being closed. They stand angularly, and a channel is continued from them towards the tipper lip, which is divided like the hare's. The whiskers are rather thick and strong, and are in length from 2 to 3 inches.

"The mouth is small; which contains five long grass-cutting teeth in the front of each jaw, within them is a vacancy of an inch, then appear two small canine teeth of equal height with, and so similar to, eight molares situated behind, as scarcely to be distinguishable from them. The whole number in both jaws amount to twenty-four.

"The neck is thick and short, and greatly restrains the motions of the head, which looks as if it was stuck on the shoulders.

"From the neck the back arches a little as far as the loins, whence it goes off at a flat slope to the hindmost parts, where no tail is visible A tail, notwithstanding is found, after separating the hairs, five tenths of an inch in length, naked, except for a few short hair near its end. This curious tail seemed to hold a much bolder proportion in the young than in the full-grown animal.

"The fore legs are very strong and muscular: their length, to the sole of the paw, is 5 inches, and the distance between them is 5 inches. The paws are fleshy, round and large being 2 inches in diameter. Their claws are 5 in number. The 3 middle claws are strong; the thumb and little finger claws are also strong, but shorter than the others. The fleshy root of the thumb-claw, is smaller and more flexible than the others. The sole of the paw is hard, and the upper part covered with the common hair, down to the roots of the claws which it overhangs. The hind legs are less strong and muscular than the fore; their length, to the sole, is five inches and a half. The hind paw is longer than the fore, but not less fleshy; its length is nearly three inches, its breadth two inches and a half. The claws are four in number: the three inner ones are less strong, but about two-tenths of an inch longer than the longest of the fore claws; and there is a fleshy spur in the place of a thumb-claw. The whole paw has a curve, which throws its fore part rather inward.

"In size the two sexes are nearly the same, but the female rather the heaviest.

"This animal has not any claim to swiftness of foot, as most men could run it down. Its pace is hobbling something like the gait of a bear. In disposition it is mild and gentle; but it bites hard and is furious when provoked. Mr. Bass never heard its voice but once; it was a low cry, which could not be heard at a distance of more than 30 or 40 yards. He chased one, and with his hands under its belly lifted it off the ground without hurting it, and laid it on its back along his arm. It made no noise, nor any effort to escape. Mr. Bass carried the beast upwards of a mile, shifting him from arm to arm, sometimes laying him on his shoulder, which he took in good part; till being obliged to secure his legs while he went into the brush to cut a specimen of a new wood, the creature's anger arose with the pinching of the twine; he whizzed with all his might, kicked most furiously, and snapped off a piece from the elbow of Mr. Bass's jacket with his grass cutting teeth; and the creature, when again taken up, remained implacable all the way to the boat, only ceasing to kick when he was exhausted."

Besides Furneaux's Islands, the Wom-bat inhabits the mountains and several islands to the Westward of Port Jackson. In all these places its habitation is under ground, being admirably formed for burrowing, but what depth it descends does not seem to be ascertained. According to the account given of it by the natives, the wom-bat of the mountains is never seen during the day, but lives retired in his hole, feeding only in the night; but that of the islands is seen to feed in all parts of the day. The stomachs of such as Mr. Bass examined were distended with the coarse wiry grass, and he had seen the animal scratching among the the dry ricks of seaweed thrown up upon the shores, hat could never discover what it was in search of.

Cape Barren Island, besides the kangaroo and wom-bat, is inhabited by the porcupine ant-eater; a rat with webbed feet; parroquets, and small birds unknown at Port Jackson, some few of which were of beautiful plumage. Black snakes with the venimous fangs were numerous upon the edges of the brush. The rocks toward the sea were covered with fur-seals.

Quitting Furneaux's Islands, the Norfolk proceeded toward the North coast of Van Diemen's land; and on the 1st of November anchored at the largest of the Swan Isles, two small islands so called by Lieut. Flinders, when here in the Francis; as an European belonging to the Sydney Cove assured him that he had met great numbers of swans on them.

The isle at which the sloop anchored, like Preservation Island, was low, sandy, and barren, but differed in the composition of its rocks, or that substance Which formed the basis of its support. This had not any affinity to granite. It was of various colours, but generally either of a light brown or grey. It seemed to be lamellated, but the lamellae were placed vertically, often radiated with a diameter of four or five feet, and sometimes placed parallel. On breaking the stone, the fracture was vitreous, or like that of glass, and it scintillated on steel being applied. Rust of iron was visible in several parts, the stone breaking in those parts into plates; but where none of those markings were seen, it broke with great difficulty. On the first view, the stone looked like clay; but as it produced fire with steel, there must have been a large portion of flint in it. It appeared to contain iron in rather a large quantity.

Not a single swan was found upon the island, notwithstanding the information given by the European; but several geese were breeding there, and the sooty petrel possessed the grassy parts.

On the first of November, early in the morning, they left the Swan Isles, steering to the Westward along shore.

A column of smoke which arose some distance inland, was the only proof of its being inhabited.

At noon the latitude was 40° 44' 08", the peak of Cape Barren Island then in sight. At this time they were two miles to the Westward of the small island, which was low and rocky, lying about 2 miles and a half of a sharp, sandy point, with which it was nearly joined by some lumps of rock that almost closed up the passage.

The aspect of the low land here was less pleasing, the mountains approaching nearer the sea, and the country appearing to be more stocked with wood. The coast seemed inclined to a southerly direction, and the Western extremity, which bore S.W. by W. appeared irregular and very much broken.

At five in the afternoon they anchored two miles and a half to the Westward of the small island, setting the vessel to the Northward.

The next morning they weighed at nine, with an easterly wind, and steered towards a small break that presented itself in the bottom of an extensive bay, lying between the two extremes then in view. The break was not sufficiently distinct to have justified in itself alone a reasonable supposition of an inlet, but that it was corroborated by the direction of the ebb tide, which, while the sloop was at anchor, was observed to come from the S.S.W. or directly out of the bay, running at the rate of two miles and a half per hour. By noon, they ascertained that there was not any inlet, they bore away to the Westward along the land.

Their distance from the shore did not exceed a mile and a half. The back country consisted of high mountains, whose parallel edges were one above another lo a considerable distance inland. The land in front appeared both woody, bushy, and sandy.

In the afternoon they ran between a sandy point, with shoal water off it, and two islands. One of these, named Waterhouse Isle, is between two and three miles in length, high, but level, and covered with large wood. The other is small, low, rocky, and nearly bare. The coast now trended to the S.S.W. the land sloping up from the sea a moderate height, with more open than wooded ground, and little brush-wood; but the soil sandy, and the grass thin.

Proceeding, the shore no longer retained a regular line of direction, but fell back into sandy bights. Hauling off for the night to the Westward of a small rocky barren island, about four miles from the land, at six o'clock the next morning they came in with it again, and began their course along the shore, to the S.S.W. in an irregular manner.

At eleven they passed within a mile of a grassy cape, which is the extremity of a ridge, that rising up by a gentle ascent, retreats and joins some lofty mountains. A small rocky island lay too miles from it to the W.S.W. at noon the latitude was 40° 55' 25", and the longitude 147° 16' 30".

Early in the afternoon a gap in the land situated at the back of a deep narrow bight, attracted attention, this they bore away to examine; and, after running three miles, they found they had shut in the line of the coast on each side, and were impelled forward by a strong inset of tide. Continuing their course for the gap, some back points within the entrance soon became distinguishable, and the rapidity of the flood tide was observed to increase on nearing the shore. When the sloop was on the point of entering the harbour, the water shoaled suddenly, and she struck the ground and lay fast; but the strong flood in a few minutes dragged her over into deep water, and shot her into the entrance with great velocity.

Having advanced within the entrance, the harbour began to expand itself in a kind of large basin. Its shores were broken into points, between some of which the great strength of the flood tide led them to expect it would branch off into arms. The land lying immediately upon its borders was low, but not flat; and those points near which the sloop passed were clothed with an unusual degree of verdure. The sun being down, the vessel was anchored for the night, and the next day they proceeded with their researches.

This harbour, or inlet, which was named by the Governor, Port Dalrymple, in compliment to Alexander Dalrymple, Esq. takes its course from the S. E. between two chains of rounded mountains, stretching inland from the sea with an almost imperceptible increase of elevation; and, seemed to unite, at the distance of between thirty and forty miles, in a body of rugged mountains more lofty than themselves. These two chains in their relative positions formed an acute angle, being at their greatest distance asunder, as measured along the sea coast, only sixteen miles.

As these gentlemen were limited in point of time (twelve weeks having been deemed by the Governor sufficient for the execution of this service), the fear of losing a wind favourable for the prosecution of the principal object of the voyage, that of sailing through the strait, deterred them from trying to reach the head of the river.

The quality of the ground, was far superior to that of the borders of any of the salt water inlets of New South Wales, Western Port excepted. The vegetable mould was, however, found to be of no great depth, and was sometimes mixed with small quantities of sand.

The best of the soil was found upon the sides of sloping hills, and in the broad vallies between them. Some parts that were low and level had a wet surface, bounded by small tracts of flowering shrubs and plants, that absolutely perfumed the air. These retained in general the appearance of those in New South Wales, while they were in reality very different. The two countries present a perfect similarity in this, that the more barren spots are the most gaily adorned.

Except in these places the grass does not grow in tufts, but covers the land equally with a short herbage, better adapted, for small than of large cattle. The food for the latter grows in the bottoms of the vallies and on the damp flats. A large proportion of the soil promised a fair return to the labours of the cultivator, but the greater part would perhaps be more advantageously employed, if left for pasturage, than if thrown into cultivation.

Water was found in runs more than in ponds, not very plentiful, but far from being scarce.

The west side of the river possessed the largest quantity of the best ground, because the mountains on that side are at a greater distance than those on the east. The country lying near the west arm is rather flat, and might be converted to many useful purposes.

The best land seemed to be that fine hilly country at the back of an island named Middle-Island; but access to it is not easy on account of a large shoal extending along its front, which is dry at low water, as far out as the island itself. The shape of the land is very pleasingly variegated with hill and valley; the soil is in general a rich black mould, shallow, and even sometimes a little stoney on the hills, but in the vallies abundant depth and richness. A close coat of grass of a uniform thickness overspreads it every where. It appears to be watered only by swampy ponds, which in many places are at some distance from each other.

The heavy timber is chiefly of the various species of the gum tree; of which two are different from any that have been yet seen in this country. But, from the few trees that have been felled, it was thought to be more sound at heart than they are usually. The she oaks were more inclined to spread than grow tall. The tree producing the yellow gum is of a very diminutive size; but, unlike that of Cape Barren Island, it bears a reed correspondent to itself. These were going into flower, and their length was only from nine inches to two feet.

Grey kangaroos of a large size, abounded in the open forest; and the brushes with the smaller black kind.

The gloomy plumage of the parrots forms a contrast with the lustre of those near the settlement. The cry of the bell-bird seems to be unknown here. Aquatic birds, web-footed and waders, frequent the arms and covers of the river; but the black swans alone are remarkable in point of number. Mr. Bass once saw three hundred swimming within the space of a quarter of a mile; and heard the "dying song" so celebrated by the poets. Not more than two thirds of any of the flocks which they fell in with could fly, the rest could do no more than flap along upon the surface of the water, being either moulting, or not yet come to their full feather and growth, which they require two years to attain. They swam and flapped alternately, and went surprisingly fast It was some times a long chase, but the boat generally tired them out. When in danger, speed makes no part of their escape, they immerse their bodies so far, that the water makes a passage between their neck and back, and in this position they would avoid a heavy load of shot. They seemed endowed with much sagacity; in chase they soon learned the weakest point of their pursuers, and, instead of swimming directly from them, as they did at first, always endeavoured in the most artful manner to gain the wind.

The swan is said to feed upon fish, frogs, and water-slugs; but in the gizards of many that at different times and in different places were examined, nothing appeared but small water plants, and some little sand. Of their affection for their young he had seen some sacrifices; but of their fierceness, when opposed to man, or their great strength, he had seen no instance.

Among other reptiles were found the snake with venemous fangs, and some brown guanoes.

This country is but thinly inhabited, and the extreme shyness of the natives prevented any kind of communication whatever. They never even got sight of them but once, and that at a great distance. They had made fires abreast where the sloop was at anchor; but as soon as the boat approached the shore they ran off to the woods. Their huts, of which seven or eight were frequently found together like a little encampment, were constructed of bark torn in long stripes, after being divided transversely at the bottom, in such breadths as their strength would be able to disengage them from the wood. It is then broken into lengths, and placed, sloping-wise, against the elbowing part of some dead branch that had fallen off limbs of the gum tree; and a little grass is sometimes thrown over the top. But, they have not ingenuity enough to place the slips of bark in such a manner as to preclude the rain.

The only utensil observed lying near their huts was a kind of basket made of long grass. The two ends of a large bunch of this grass are tied to the two ends of a smaller bunch; the large one is then spread out to form the basket, while the smaller answers the purpose of a handle. Their use is to bring shell fish from the mud banks where they are collected. The large heaps of muscle shells found near each hut proved the mud banks to be a principal source of food. On an examination of their fire-places nothing, except a few bones of the opossum, or squirrel and here and there those of a small kangaroo were discovered.

The mode of taking the opossum seemed to be similar to that practised in New South Wales, except that they use a rope in ascending the tree; for at the foot of a notched tree, about eight feet of a two-inch rope made of grass was found with a knot in it, near which it appeared broken.

To the canoe they were strangers as one was never met with, or was any tree ever observed to be barked in the manner requisite for this purpose; though birds bred upon little islands to which access might be had in the smallest canoe. The roughness of the notches left by the stone hatchet upon the bark of the trees bore no favourable testimony to its excellence. They were rather the marks of a rough than of a sharp edged tool, and seemed more beaten than cut, which was not the case with the marks left by the stone hatchet of New South Wales.

The range of the thermometer, taken in various parts of the port, was at night from 49° to 52°, and at noon from 58° to 64°.

On the 20th of November they left Port Dalrymple with a light breeze at N.E. and proceeded slowly to the westward. At day-light the following morning, the wind shifted to the W. by N. which drove them back to Furneaux's islands, where, the gale continuing at west, they were kept until the 3d of December, when they were enabled to proceed to the westward. The land here trended to the W.N.W. as far as visible through the haze, which suffered them only to distinguish that it was high and uneven. At noon the latitude was 40° 58', and the longitude 140° 44'. Their progress was slow; but what was seen of it appeared high and mountainous, the mountains forming into low peaks, to which a few large shapeless knobs added a great Angularity. On the haze clearing away, and the shore being distinctly seen, it appeared rocky, but wooded nearly down to the water's edge. Here and there were seen spaces of open ground, some of which sloped toward the sea, and had a few large trees growing on them. A peaked mountain, some miles inland, might have been thought, from its shape and height, to have been once a volcano.

On the 6th, towards noon, soon after passing Circular Head, the outermost land in sight stretched so far on the northward, that the course to clear it was N.N.W. It formed like two hummocks.

Nothing new presented itself on the following day, but some small flights of sooty petrels.

On the 8th, being threatened with a gale, they came to anchor under the land, off a small beach on its N.E. part, where the S. W. wind could not molest the vessel. Here Mr. Bass landed to examine the country, but the tall sturdy brush-wood grew so close that their dogs could hardly make their way through it. Several patches seemed to have been burnt many months ago, but the small brush and creeping vines only were destroyed; the closeness of the blackened saplings was still irresistible. A few starved gum trees erected their heads above the brush-wood, and the whole wore an aspect of poverty. The rocks were composed of quartz, probably a species of granite, but unlike what formed Furneaux's Islands.

Leaving this place on the 9th, they steered for the outermost land in sight, and was distant three or four leagues. After rounding the end of the land under which they had anchored, its shores fell back, and discovered to them it was an island of from fifteen to twenty miles miles in circuit, and situated between four and five from the main. It was with the greatest astonishment that they recollected the fire places and sea shells which they had the preceding evening seen upon the island. This island had bestowed on it the name of the Three Hummock Island.

During the early part of the morning, some millions of sooty petrels passed the vessel on their way to the westward.

Having passed within a mile of a pointed part of the main, which in height and vegetation resembled Three Hummock Island, towards noon they came up with some land, which proved to be a small island, high and steep; and a long swell, which had just before made its first appearance, broke violently upon it, making a furious surf on all sides. Its summit was whitened over with birds. With difficulty a landing was effected, and, after an encounter with some seals that stood above, they reached the top. The birds found were albatrosses. The spread of their wings was from seven to nine feet; and the appearance of their visitors did not occasion much disturbance among them, even when they approached close to them. The females sat upon their nests, this being the season of their breeding, the nests were not more than a foot and a half apart, built of muddy earth, bound with grass, raised about four inches from the ground. One young bird was in each nest: of the size of a small pullet, covered with a beautifully white down; at some distance resembling a ball of cotton. Some nests held an addled egg of a dirty white colour, and equal in size to that of a goose. The nests were so near each other, and the birds so conscious of the strength of their sharp bills, that in going through them they were obliged to make use of seal clubs, to procure a passage. Even the young ones spouted plentiful mouthfuls of a kind of oil on them not altogether unpleasant.

This island, which obtained the name of Albatross Island, was a mass of stone, without any other vegetation than a few tufts of coarse grass. Besides albatrosses, it afforded shelter to a few hair seals, and the large gull. The latitude was 40° 24', the longitude 145° 02'.

Several other islands were seen to the Southward, and the coast of the main seemed trended in the same direction. A deep bight lay at the back of these islands, with points and openings visible in its most distant part. They passed near enough to determine that they were high, steep, and difficult of access. Their tops and sloping parts were grown over with either coarse grass or short brush; but not any trees appeared. The largest might be seven or eight miles in circuit, the smaller were mere masses of rock, and the whole in number about twelve, obtained the name of Hunter's Isles.

A fresh gale at E.N.E. and a heavy swell from the S.W. drove the vessel fast to the Southward and Westward; and on the 11th, the gale having moderated, they stretched in for the land, a large extent of which was indistinctly visible through a light haze that hung about the horizon. At noon the latitude was 41° 13', and the longitude 148° 58'. With a fresh breeze at N.N.E. they bore away along the shore, which trends to the S.E. by E. and was distant three or four miles.

On the following morning the wind rounded to the Northward, and they continued along the shore. Early in the forenoon they passed a singular point, with a number of lumps of rock lying some two or three miles off it to the S.W. It resembled an artificial pier, or mole, with warehouses upon it, and a light-house on the end next the water. Large masses of detached oblong rocks gave the appearance of warehouses, and a remarkable long one standing upon its end, that of the light-house.

Neither Mr. Bass, nor his fellow voyager, Lieut. Flinders, hesitated to think they had passed through the strait, and from the Pacific, had entered the southern Indian ocean; for what within the extent of a vast sea could give birth to the monstrous swell now rolling in before their eyes? and the coast was evidently trending towards the S.W. cape.

It was worthy of remark, that the Northern shore of the strait from Wilson's Promontory to Western Port resembled the bluff bold shore of an open sea, with a swell rolling in, and a large surf breaking upon it; while the Southern shore, or what is the coast of Van Diemen's land, appeared like the inner shore of a cluster of islands, whose outer parts break off the great weight of the sea.

On the 11th in the afternoon a piece of land like an island was discovered standing out of the line of the coast, but was found joined to the main by a sandy beach. The shore behind it was rugged and craggy, and the land was both sterile and stoney. As night came on the vessel stood off to the Westward, and at day-light the next morning came in with the land near the same spot, and ran along the shore at N.W.

About noon the coast rose into chains of high mountains, in the same line as the coast, in latitude 43° 07', the longitude 145° 42'. Some smoke rising astern the vessel was the first circumstance which afforded proof of inhabitants being on this West coast.

On the 13th they found the vessel had been carried in the night to leeward of a break in tin land, they had seen the preceding evening, which appeared like the entrance of an harbour. The north point of which was named Point St. Vincent.

In the evening they passed the S. W. cape of Van Diemen's land, hitherto known as that of New Holland. It is a narrow piece of land, with two hummocks. Passing the cape, they went between De Witt's Isles and the main, and at sunset they were only about a mile and a half from the South Cape.

The South West and South Capes lie nearly East and West of each other, distant nearly fifteen leagues. The coast between forms the Southern boundary of Van Diemen's land.

The extremity of Van Diemen's land presents a rugged front to the icy regions of the south pole; and seems to have extended further South than at present. It has numerous peaks, ridges, gaps and fissures, that seemed to disdain the smallest uniformity of figure. Beneath this confusion is observed an equal regularity. Lofty ridges of mountain, bounded by large cliffs, project for miles into the sea, at nearly equal distances from each other, with a breadth from one to two miles. The bays between them are backed by sandy beaches. These buttresses appear to be the southern extremities of the mountains of Van Diemen's land.

De Witt's Isles are twelve in number, and of various sizes. The two largest are three or four miles in circuit. Their sides steep; but their height is inferior to that of the main. The largest is the lowest. The smaller isles are little more than lumps of rock, of which that called by Captain Cook the Mew Stone is the southernmost. Their appearance, like that of the main, bespeaks sterility; but, superior to the greater part of it, they produce a covering of brush; and upon the sides are a few stinted gum trees.

A smoke that arose at the back of one of the bights shewed the main to be inhabited.

The South Cape is easily to be distinguished from any other projection in its neighbourhood. Besides being the southernmost, it is a promontory making like a foreland, sloping gradually as it runs towards the sea, where it ends in a perpendicular cliff.

About sunset the fresh N.W. wind died away suddenly; and a squall from the Westward, of thunder, lightning, and heavy rain, soon carried them round the South cape, and, by dark, brought them off Storm-Bay, where they hauled to the wind with the sloop's head up the bay, meaning, in the morning, to proceed by this bay to the Derwent river.

The night was squally, and by day light next morning (the 14th), it was found that the vessel had drifted across the mouth of Storm-Bay, or Storm-Bay-Passage. Tasman's-head, its Eastern point, bore N.E. distant three miles. Being too far to leeward to fetch up, and the gale continuing, they bore away round Tasman-head.

Nothing remarkable was observed about Tasman's-head, except two small islands lying off it, at the distance of half or three quarters of a mile; and close to them were the two rocks named the Friars. The vegetation on the innermost of the two small islands had been burnt in a manner similar to that on De Witt's isles.

Passing Fluted Cape, a fine piece of Basaltes, and Penguin island, they brought up under Cape Frederick Henry, the north point of Adventure Bay; and, the wind blowing strong off it, and the sloop being light and leewardly, they bore round Cape Frederick Henry, hauling on the north of it into the bay, and thus go into the Derwent river: but, finding themselves likely to lose ground by tacking, they stood into Henshaw's bay, and were greatly surprised to find that, instead of its being a mere shallow bight, as laid down in Hayes's chart, it extended many miles to the northward. The whole now bears the name of Frederick Henry Bay. In this very extensive bay they remained a week, traversing and measuring various parts of its shores.

The surrounding country was found miserable, presenting little fit even for pasturage, and none good enough for cultivation, except near a shallow lagoon on the west side, on the borders of which were seven or eight hundred acres of low ground, of a black mould. Near the best part, was a large fresh water swamp, overgrown with reeds and bulrushes.

In the evening of the 21st they entered the mouth of the Derwent.

In passing between two islands, the heads of the sea-weed, named from its size (Gigantic), were shewing themselves above the surface in six or eight fathoms water.

After a very slow course of about twenty-six miles to N. W. the Derwent river falls into Frederick Henry Bay, at which place its breadth is two miles and a quarter, and ten fathoms deep. Several hundred yards above the mouth, it is joined by the Storm-Bay-Passage, which union makes an island of that land which is Adventure Bay. This island, the Derwent river, and the Storm-Bay-Passage, were the discovery of Mr. Hayes, of which he made only an incorrect chart.

That dull river the Derwent, not being affected by the tides, its navigation is tedious, particularly with a foul wind. It winds through a country of hills and mountains. The hills on the East rise directly from the banks; but the mountains to the Westward are at the distance of some miles from the water side and have hilly land before them. The hills are thinly set with light timber principally short oaks; but are covered with thick grass, free from brush-wood or patches of shrubs. The soil is a black mould, deep in the vallies, very shallow, and occasionally a mixture of sand and small stones. As the hills descend with gentle slopes, the vallies between are extensive and flat.

Mr. Bass ascended a mountain in the West three miles from the water, and so conspicuous as to be seen from every part of the Derwent, and was surprized to find it abound with tall gum-tree timber remarkably straight.

The shore on the East side of the river, is covered with a good soil, lightly wooded; on the West the country rises suddenly into stoney hills so that it is not in general so good as in other places; a few patches were observed of eighty or one hundred acres of excellent land.

The strata of cliffs were broken and lay sloping in different directions; several pieces of petrified wood, and lumps of stone were inveloped, or rather stuck into the matter of the rock, which, although in colour much like a yellow tinged clay, yet had the usual rough porous surface peculiar to such substances; here as in other places, it was hard, but did not scintillate with steel, and was divided by lines of a still harder iron-tinged stone, into squares and parallelograms of various sizes. From one of these intersecting lines, Mr. Bass took a small lump of this ferruginous stone, that seemed to have bubbled up, and to have hardened in the form of an ill-shaped bunch of small grapes. Some of the neighbouring cliffs, for several yards were formed into basaltic columns.

In crossing one of the heads between two bays Mr. B. met with a deep hole in the ground Which seemed to have been caused by the falling in of the earth. It extended about twenty-two yards by seventeen; its depth twenty. And the sides were both rather smooth and perpendicular. A little surf that washed up within it proved a communication with the river, by a narrow subterraneous passage of from ten to sixteen feet in height, and according to the distance of the hole from the edge of the cliff, about thirty five yards in length; proceeding on the West side from Point William to Shoal Point, the land is too stony on the hills for cultivation, but proper for pasturage. The rallies are certainly adapted to grain.

The land round Prince of Wales Cove is level, and often clayey. About three hundred acres of open ground, called King George's Plains, seem well calculated for the purpose of rearing grape vines.

The land at the head of Risdon creek, on the East side, seems preferable to any other on the banks of the Derwent.

Herdsman's Cove, above Risdon Creek, has a large tract of good land lying at its head. The country, which is thin of timber, rounds into grassy hills of gentle ascent. The soil consists of more brown earth than black mould; on the sides and tops of the hills, it is stoney. A chain of ponds intersecting the hills afford a continual stream of fresh water to the head of the Cove.

Not supposing the sloop could proceed above Herdsman's Cove, they went up the river in her boat, under the idea that one tide would enable them to reach its source; but they were mistaken. When the returning tide met them, the water had become fresh; the stream was two hundred and thirty yards in breadth, and in depth three fathoms. It was wedged in between high grassy hills that descended to the river.

In their excursion a human voice reached them from the hills; when they landed, carrying one of several swans they had shot. Having nearly reached the summit, two females suddenly appeared some distance before them, each snatched up a basket, and ran off. A man then appeared, and suffered them to approach him without any signs of fear. He accepted the swan with joy and seemed to esteem it of value.

He was unintelligible to them, even as they were to him, they addressed him in several of the dialects of New South Wales, and some few of the most common words of the South Sea Islands. With some difficulty they made him understand they wished to see his habitation. He pointed over the hills, and proceeded onwards; often stopping under pretence of having lost the tract; which made them suspect his aim was, to amuse and tire them. Judging, therefore, that in persisting to follow him they must lose the remaining part of the flood tide, they parted from him in great friendship.

This man was short, slight, and of a middle age, with a countenance more expressive of intelligence than of that ferocity or stupidity which generally characterized the other natives; his features were less negro-like, than theirs; and on the top of his head were plaisteres of red earth. His hair was either naturally short and close, or had been rendered so by burning, and, although short and stiffly curled, they did not think it woolly.* He was armed with two ill made spears of solid wood.

[* Mr. Raven, returning to England in the Buffalo, put into Adventure Bay, where this man was seen, and cut off some wool from the head of a native there.]

No part of the dress of Mr. Bass or Lieut. Flinders attracted his attention, except the red silk handkerchiefs round their necks; and their fire arms were to him, objects neither of curiosity or fear.

This was the first man they spoke with in Van Diemen's land, and his open deportment led them to form a favourable opinion of the disposition of its inhabitants, and conjecture if the country was peopled in the usual numbers, he would not have been the only one they would have met.

They found many huts on the shores of the river, of the same bad construction as those of Port Dalrymple, but with fewer muscle-shells lying near them. The natives of this place, draw the principal part of their food from the woods; the bones of small animals were numerous round their deserted fire-places; and the two spears Which they saw in the hands of the man were similar to those used for hunting in other parts; and many trees were observed to be notched for the purpose of climbing.

No canoes were ever seen, nor any tree so barked as to answer that purpose. And yet all the islands in Frederick-Henry Bay had evidently been visited.

The feathered tribes were similar to those of Port Dalrymple. The flocks of black swans even exceeded those they had before met with.

The most formidable among the reptiles was the black snake with venemous fangs, and so much in colour resembling a burnt stick, that a close inspection could only detect the difference.

Mr. Bass once, with his eyes cautiously directed towards the ground, stepped over one which was lying asleep among some black sticks, and would have passed on without observing it, had not its rustling and loud hiss attracted his attention.

He resolved to take it alive, and try the effect of its bite on a hawk at that time in the sloop. In the contest, he turned round and bit himself severely; in a few minutes after which he was overcome. His exertions, however, were still vigorous, and Mr. Bass expected, as he began to recover himself, they would increase; but in less than ten minutes he died. Having never before known a snake of this size to be killed by a few very slight blows with a stick so rotten as scarcely to bear the weight of its own blow, he was at a loss to conceive how death so sudden succeeded so much vigour in an animal so tenacious of life, When, three hours afterwards, the skin was stripped off, the flesh for some distance round the marks of his teeth, was found inflamed and discoloured; thus this reptile proved a suicide.

Every particular relative to the Derwent river being stated, and all the information of Van Diemen's land related, it may be esteemed highly proper, to point out the manner in which this country and new South Wales appear to differ in their most essential quality, that of their soil.

In adjusting the comparative fertility of the soils of Van Diemen's land, and New South Wales, their contrasted dispositions are more prominent than any inequality in their quantity. They are poor countries; but, as far as the eye of discovery has yet penetrated in either, the cultivable soil of the latter is found lying in a few distinct patches of varying quality; while the soil of the former, being more equally spread, those spots of abundant richness, or large wilds of sterility, are less frequently seen.

Although Van Diemen's land seems to possess few or none of those depths of soil which the happiest spots of New South Wales are blessed with, it seldom excludes the hopes of its traveller with those tracts which disarm industry.

In point of productive soil Mr. Bass gives the advantage to Van Diemen's land.

Two rivers only, Port Dalrymple and the Derwent, are known to descend from Van Diemen's land; and by Point St. Vincent possibly there may be a third. But two or three rivers bear but a scanty proportion to the island.

On the 3d of January they quitted the River Derwent, and proceeded to the Northward, coasting the East side of Frederick-Henry Bay. The figure of the shore, between what is now called Basaltes and Cape Pillar, exhibited one of those great works of nature which seldom fails exciting surprise: it was all basaltic. The cape is a vast high wedge, which projects into the sea, surmounted by lofty columns.

After passing Cape Pillar, some islands became visible to the northward; but they did not reach them, as the wind failed. On the next day, they arrived within five miles of one which in its general appearance, bore some resemblance to Furneaux's Islands.

On the 7th they saw Cape Barren Island. They did not pass through the channel, or passage, which divides Furneaux's Islands, but discovered why Captain Furneaux named the place the Bay of Shoals.

Early on the 8th they neared the islands lying off the Patriarchs; three in number; the largest of which was high, rocky, and barren, with a basis of granite, which, like that of Preservation Island, laid scattered about in large detached blocks. Landing upon the outermost, Mr. Bass found it well inhabited. The various tribes had divided into districts. One part was white with gannets, breeding in nests of earth and dried grass. Petrels and penguins had their underground habitations in those parts of the island which had the most grass. The rocks of the shore, and blocks of granite, were occupied by the pied offensive shag and common gull; geese, red-bills and quails, lived in common, and the rest was appropriated to the seals, Mr. Bass observed with surprise, that though the principal herd made off as usual on the first approach, yet the males, who possessed a rock to themselves, where they sat with their wives and progeny, on his drawing near them, hobbled up with a menacing roar, and fairly commenced the attack, while the wives seemed to rest their security upon the superior courage of the males; for, instead of retreating into the water with consternation, they only raised themselves upon their fore fins, ready to go, keeping their eye on him.

The seal is reckoned stupid; but Mr. B. noticed many signs of sagacity in them; and was of opinion that, a seal might be trained to be a fisher for man, even as a hawk is his fowler.

Having collected what stock was necessary, they stood to the Northward, and on the 12th reached Port Jackson.

On an account of this voyage being delivered to the governor, he named the principal discovery, Bass Strait, as a tribute due to the correctness of that judgment which led to the supposition that the south-westerly winds which rolled in on the Western shores, could proceed only from their being exposed to the Southern Indian Ocean.

The principal advantage likely to arise to the settlement from this discovery was, the expediting of the passage from the Cape of Good Hope to Port Jackson. But there is a greater advantage to be gained by making a passage through the strait. The major part of the ships that have arrived at Port Jackson have met with N.E. winds on opening the sea round the South Cape and Cape Pillar, and have been so retarded by them, that a fourteen days' passage to the port is reckoned to be a fair one, although the difference of latitude is but ten degrees. If by going through Bass Strait, the N.E. winds can be avoided, which would be the case, a week or more would be gained by it.

This strait presents another advantage. From the prevalence of the N.E. and easterly winds off the South Cape, many suppose that a passage may be made from thence to the Westward, either to the Cape of Hood Hope, or India; but the fear of the great unknown bight between the South Cape and the S.W. Cape of Leeuwin's land, lying in about 35° South and 113° East has hitherto prevented the trial. The strait removes a part of this danger, by presenting a place of retreat, if wanted; and should the wind come at S.W. no ship need fear making a good stretch to the W.N.W. There is besides King George the Third's Sound, discovered by Capt. Vancouver, in latitude of 35° 03' South, and longitude 108° 12' East.

Thus prosperously did the voyage of Mr. Bass, and Lieut. Flinders, answer every purpose the Governor and these gentlemen fondly expected; and to future ages, most probably, will be left the proper elevation of these navigators' names, in the Temple of Fame; for though the advantages may now be seen, they will undoubtedly hereafter be beneficially felt.


[Flinders explores Glass-House Bay]

FROM the interesting voyage of discovery, performed by Mr. Bass and Lieut Flinders, we must return to the proceedings at the colony.

In the night of the 24th of January, 1799, the commissary's house was robbed to a considerable amount, as they effected an entrance into the store-room.

The governor this month visited Paramatta, and had the misfortune to find the pasture so universally burnt up, that the cattle were in want of grass; and, as the drought continued, the maize, it was feared, would fall very short of the quantity expected; his Excellency, therefore, ordered a return to be made of the stock of grain, that he might see on what he had to depend.

By the arrival of the Diana, information was brought from Norfolk Island, that the produce of wheat had been greater this harvest than it had ever been before; but the maize, for want of rain, was by no means so prolific; and the extravagant price paid for wages, had obliged the settlers to advance the price of wheat to fifteen shillings a bushel.

The number of causes for the recovery of debts, which came before the magistrates, rendered their business very troublesome; and, as the inventive GENIUS of the convicts, afforded them nearly constant employ as justices of the peace: an order was issued, making known, that pleas of debt must be decided by the court of civil jurisdiction.

At the close of January, the criminal court resumed its operations; when one man was found guilty of house-breaking, a second for forgery, and a third for having shot a native at Botany Bay. The man convicted of forgery was recommended to mercy, and the murderer was to receive corporal punishment, at the execution of which, many of the natives attended, and beheld it with perfect indifference.

The man convicted of house-breaking, suffered on the 8th of February, and his exhortations, previous to execution, had scarce ceased, when the court was assembled for the trial of another man for the same offence, of which he was convicted. This man, Samuel Wright, had before been convicted but received a pardon. On the morning, of the day now appointed for his execution; he cut his throat, but in so slight a way, as evidently shewed he wished only to delay the fulfillment of his sentence, that he might obtain an opportunity of making an escape.

A few, belonging to a gang of thieves, which had for some time infested the settlements, and plundered to a very large amount, were brought to trial before this court, but not being capitally convicted, some were transported to Norfolk Island, and others flogged. The executions of those sentences, which the offended laws of every nation inflicts, are in general esteemed useful as warnings to others, but, that these should particularly lose that effect in New South Wales, should by no means excite astonishment as the major part of the inhabitants, had been too conversant with the nature of crimes and punishments, for any example to affect them; particularly while a ready market almost continually offered for the sale of any stolen articles, which must be the case while the sailors of any ships were suffered to come on shore, or any persons permitted to go on board the ships.

About twelve o'clock on the night of the 11th, the goal at Sydney was burnt down; there were above 20 prisoners all ironed, in at the time it was first discovered, and it was with very considerable difficulty, they were brought from the flames. Not the least doubt was for an instant entertained, but this building was set fire to purposely, though nothing could be discovered. In a few days after this fire, some of the Irish convicts with blackened faces, broke into the house of one of the missionaries, and not content with robbing him of all he had, they wounded him in several places.

The badness of the harvest, which seemed to indicate a very material degree of want in the article of grain, by no means tempted those who wished to distil spirituous liquors, to forego their inclinations though so repeatedly forbidden, consequently former orders on this subject were repeated, and several stills seized and destroyed.

The harvest which had most certainly been very unproductive, offered to the settlers an excuse for requesting the loan of grain from the public store for seed, but as too many examples had proved how little good, could result from endeavouring to assist them, they were refused, for their own stock they were known to have sold for spirits, and in some instances even that lent them for seed before they left the store-house door, and for the sole purpose of obtaining spirits; which may, with great propriety, be deemed the forbidden fruit of New South Wales; and the effects of plucking it (if I may be allowed the simile) was again exemplified on the last day of this month, when a soldier was found dead, sitting on the ground with his back reclined against the barracks; he had, in an inordinate desire for spirits, taken too copious a draught the preceding night, and unable to reach home, undoubtedly fell down in the position he was found, and thus, like Bibo, was drunk when he died; and though, from the situation in which he was found, he appeared to have resigned his life without a struggle; it affords to any mind capable of thinking an example at once just and dreadful; for the mind, thus rendered incapable of retaining a proper sense of the creator, is thus shewn not fit to exist.

The excessive heat of so long a continuance had very much affected the water. Those ponds which still retained any, were so reduced, that the major part of them were become most intolerable brackish, and hardly drinkable. This circumstance made it strongly conjectured, that the earth contained a very large portion of salt, as at this time the ponds on the high grounds were even very far from fresh. All the woods from Sydney to Paramatta were absolutely completely on fire, the trees were burnt to the tops, and all the grass destroyed.

To counteract if it was possible the vile intentions of those wicked wretches who were directly or indirectly concerned in setting the gaol on fire, a strong building of stone, with substantial walls, was began this month, which was well calculated to defeat any future attempt to reduce it by fire.

The long dry weather which had prevailed, to the great injury of cultivation, was succeeded in the beginning of March by rain for several days, which much refreshed the gardens then nearly burnt up, and revived at all parts of the island the shockingly perishing vegetation. At the Hawkesbury, a sad accident occurred, which, proved destructive to the settlers at that place. The river suddenly, and in the course of a few hours, swelled to the height of 50 feet from its usual level, and with that rapidity as to carry every thing that stood in the way before it. The government store-house, erected at the first settling in this part, was in the course of this inundation, swept away, with all the provisions it contained. Several inhabitants were taken from the ridges of their houses, by boats only in time to save their lives; for most of the dwellings were inundated, and the whole country appeared one extensive lake. A very considerable number of live-stock, with a great part of the produce of the last harvest, and the household property of the people, were driven away by the torrent. Fortunate indeed may it be esteemed, only one life was lost.

This proved a shocking calamity; as no cause had appeared to indicate an overflow of the river, the settlers were by no means prepared for such an event. The natives however foresaw it, and advised the inhabitants of it, but, not liking to be taught by untutored savages, they neglected their advice, and thus ruinously felt the effects. There was no doubt, unperceived by the settlers a very heavy fall of rain in the interior, among the mountains, and, from the parched state of the land for such a long time, it had not been absorbed, but ran down the sides of the hills, filling the low grounds, and branches of the river, which, was in form strictly serpentine, and could not give a passage to the water as fast as it descended.

It was very generally believed, this violent inundation would, however, prove beneficial to the grounds overflowed, making them produce with such abundance as to cover the loss sustained. In a few days this collection of water found its way to the sea, and, the river resumed its usual level, when the settlers began fresh cropping their grounds; for which purpose they applied to the Governor for seed wheat, which certainly could not be well refused, but an application made at the same time for beds and cloathing, could not be granted, as the store was not rich enough in these articles to afford relief.

The Rebecca whaler arriving, brought the account of the battle of the Nile, which was celebrated by a discharge of the artillery. The goods which arrived in the Rebecca for sale, were not able to be disposed of at Sydney, as a bad harvest had prevented the settlers being in possession of any money. The Nautilus was therefore chartered to convey them to Norfolk Island, where they might find a market.

The Britannia came in to repair, and her success could by no means be complained of, as she had procured nearly 26 tons of oil while absent, and had the weather been more favourable, she would have taken much more.

During March, the criminal court met once, when one man received sentence of death for house breaking; and another for the same offence, was to be transported for 14 years. The civil court was a week deciding a variety of causes for debt.

On the 1st of April the criminal court was assembled for the trial of a soldier, who a few days before stabbed a seaman belonging to the Reliance, that insulted him while on duty as centinal on a wharf at Sydney. As the man died, the soldier was of course tried for murder, but in the defence he made it was proved to the court, that it was occasioned by the intemperance of the seaman, in consequence of which he was accordingly found to have committed a justifiable homicide.

To this effect of intoxication, a few days added another victim, in the person of a female, either the real or pretended wife of Simon Taylor, a man who had ever been considered one of the very few industrious settlers the colony could boast. They had been drinking together, unfortunately, to great excess; and in that state quarrelled, when the unhappy man put an end to her existence. He was taken into custody directly, and confined for trial.

A grub-worm was found in several parts of the cultivated ground, which did very considerable damage; and at the Hawkesbury a eatery pillar commenced its ravages, on the young grain just as it was shooting out of the earth. This circumstance occasioned some delay in sowing that ground which belonged to government.

It was for some days reported, that the crews of two boats, suffered to go to Hunter's river for a load of coal, had been cut off by the natives, the Governor ordered his whale-boat to be well armed, and to proceed thither in quest of the boats and their crews; sending in her Henry Hacking, who from his past services still retained the Governor's confidence. On his return, the information he gave his Excellency was, that on arriving he found an attempt had been made to burn the lesser boat, which had only three men in her, who on leaving Sydney, were provided with a musket each; the men were, however, not to be found. Going in search of them, he met with a large body of armed savages. On asking them to tell him what was become of the white men, the natives said, they were gone to Sydney; but as he found they had taken away the sails, the men's blankets, and every thing that they had with them, this did not satisfy him; so he then threatened to fire if they did not inform him directly, and presented his musquet at them. At this they laughed, and said, that if he did not go away, and leave the small boat, he had brought, and the whale-boat they would spear every white man there, and accordingly poised their spears in a very threatening manner. Hacking again levelled his piece at them, and snapped it without priming, merely to alarm them; but they on the contrary, became far more noisy and violent than before. Finding an attack was certain, he charged with buckshot, and ordered them to leave the place; but, their violence increasing, he at length fired, and four fell, one of whom got up again and ran away; but as the other three remained on the ground, they were most probably mortally wounded. The whole body now disappeared, leaving Hacking to retreat unmolested.

As our people had been in the constant habit of visiting this river for coals, and were always very particular in their conduct to all the natives they met with, treating them with kindness and civility, for their behaviour there was but one way to account. It has ever been universally allowed, that all savages are under the influence of sudden impulse, which nearly renders it impossible to trust them with security.

The men belonging to the boats were not heard of for some time, which made it feared they had been murdered, but they very fortunately reached the settlement in perfect safety.

On the 24th of April, the Nautilus returned from Norfolk Island, and with her a Spanish ship, a prize to two whalers, captured off Cape Blanco on the coast of Peru. The Spaniard was bound from Lima to Guiaquill.

A vice-admiralty court being assembled, she was condemned as a legal prize, and that part of her cargo, consisting of sugar and flour, was in a few days sold by public auction; but a quantity of an ardent spirit, similar to the aqua ardente of the Brazils, the Governor would not allow to be sold.

This new circumstance in the history of New South Wales, wore the very promising appearance of rendering it of more consequence than it had previously been; it indeed proved, that in a Dutch or Spanish war, it might become a place of importance, as it at once offered a reception to the prizes, and a court were they could be condemned, as well as a market for their cargoes.

On the 26th, the Norfolk returned from Norfolk Island, with information that the maize harvest had entirely failed, in consequence of the long drought.

The want of clothing, during April, stimulated several experiments to be made, to remedy what indeed there seemed no other way of getting the better of. An end of a linen web, produced from flax of the country, was crossed with thread, made of the bark of a tree, and a web from the bark was crossed by a thread of wool. Specimens of these were sent to England, and at least served to shew, that with proper tools, and proper hands, much might be done; nor must be forgot, the discovery of a strata of coal, or the iron ore, which on being smelted, has been found at least equal to the Swedish iron.

His Majesty's ship the Buffalo, arrived from England, on the 3d of May. At the Cape of Good Hope she took on board 66 head of cattle, which were landed in good condition. She brought various tools and articles of hardware for the colony, but no bedding or cloathing had been sent out.

Mr. Raven commanded this ship, by whose services the colony was much benefitted when in the ship Britannia, and was sent out to replace the Supply, and whose commander, Lieut. Kent, was with her officers and crew to be removed to the Buffalo; and the Governor was directed to furnish Mr. Raven a passage to England.

This ship, notwithstanding she was named the Buffalo, had at her head a carved figure of a kangaroo, with which the natives appeared very much pleased not expecting to see the animals of their country represented by us in wood.

The natives still hostile to the settlers, speared one of those at George's river so shockingly that he died of the wounds.

The natives of New South Wales, though they retained the greatest ferocity towards our people, were not divested entirely of the softer passions, for occasionally they would retire to the woods and unbend their morose natures by singing and dancing; but that savage disposition which is universally found among them, even on these occasions gets superior to every other sensation, and they have absolutely been known to leave these parties of pleasure to satisfy that thirst for revenge for which they are at all times found to be so particularly eminent.

On the 16th of May, Simon Taylor was brought before the criminal court of judicature for the murder of his wife; and being convicted, he received sentence of death, and was executed on the 20th, at Paramatta. This man was sensible of his guilt, and admonished the spectators against indulging in drunkenness, which had brought him to his disgraceful end.

Another man, was adjudged corporal punishment, and one year's hard labour, for embezzling some live-stock, the property of government, which had been entrusted to his care. He had been one of the convicts who were with Capt. Riou in the Guardian, who on account of their good conduct before and after the accident, received emancipation, and were allowed to provide for their own support. Few however were found to merit this indulgence, and this last act strongly pointed out how requisite it was, for free persons to be sent out from England to take care of the public live-stock, and other purposes of trust.

A highway robbery was committed on the 23d, between Sydney and Paramatta. Three men rushed from a wood, and knocking down a young man travelling from the first to the last mentioned town, emptied his pockets of several dollars. However recovering, and finding only one man, who was trying to get his handkerchief from his neck, he had a struggle with him, and the thief not being the strongest, was secured and conveyed to Paramatta. A court assembled for his trial; but the evidence being defective he was acquitted.

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[Those prisoners who are guilty of theft have latterly been transported to some remote settlement; which system of punishment has been found more efficacious than castigation, or any other corporal punishment, since they feel an unconquerable repugnancy to the idea of a separation from their connections and companions, and entertain a sensible dread of solitude.

"Of late years a number of vessels have been seized and carried away by the convicts. Lately the Venus, a brig belonging to Messrs. Robert Campbell and Co. laden with a quantity of provisions and stores to supply the settlements to the southward, and a very handsome brig, called the Harrington, from Madras, were seized and taken off. The former, when she had reached the place of her destination, after coming to an anchor, and landing the Master with dispatches for the Lieutenant-Governor, was seized by some convicts who had been placed on board under confinement, aided by part of the crew, and was carried beyond the reach of recapture. The latter was cut out of Farm Cove, and was carried out to sea, before any information was received on the subject.—This transaction was planned in a very secret manner; so that all the convicts boarded her about twelve o'clock at night; and although the vessel lay in sight of some part of the town, and within the fire of two batteries, yet nothing was discovered of the circumstance till the following morning. Upon representation being made to Col. Johnston, that officer ordered several boats to be manned immediately, and a party of the New South Wales, with a number of inhabitants who had volunteered their services to use every means to retake the vessel, put to sea; but after rowing and sailing about for several hours, they were obliged to return without ever coming in sight of the Harrington. Other means were subsequently tried for the recovery of the vessel, but all to no effect: the convicts had managed their matters with such secresy, promptitude, and skill, as totally prevented every endeavour to counteract their intention."]

Fresh pork having been for some time received into the store, there were now found six months' salt provisions on hand; but without this supply from the produce of the country all would have been consumed, and the colony left destitute of animal food, unless an inroad had been made on the live-stock.

The curing of pork at Norfolk Island was encouraged by every means; but the casks in which the salt meat was sent from England were so weak by their arrival that not one in twenty was fit for that use again. Had any timber, for this use been found, a supply of hoops and salt pans would have been wanting; and, if not cured in the winter season, and the method observed by Capt. Cook which was now used at Norfolk Island, it remained doubtful whether it could be carried to any serviceable extent.

Fresh pork being raised in consequence of the bad crops produced by the late harvest, afforded some relief to those who had materially suffered, the commissary was, at the close of this month, directed to pay only the former price, of nine-pence per pound.

On a review of the public stores respecting salt provision, it was found necessary to make a small reduction in time, to avoid a greater. It was therefore ordered, that the rations should be delivered as follows to each man weekly,

Beef     —     5   pounds, or
Pork   —   3   pounds,
Wheat   —   12   pounds,
Sugar        —   6   ounces,

and this deduction was only to continue till the arrival of a store-ship with salted provisions.

And to such men as were entitled, was issued as much as blue gurrah (or East India bunting) and thread as would make a frock and trowsers, a proportion was also delivered to the women and children. These gurrahs were brought from India in the speculative cargos to this country, and were at last found useful to cover the absolute nakedness of too many people.

The arrival of the Buffalo, enabled the Governor at length to inform those people convicted in Ireland, and transported to New South Wales, that he had received a statement of the sentences of those brought in the Queen; and an assurance, that the lists of those sent out since should be forwarded by the next vessel which sailed for the colony.

The Diana and Eliza whalers came in to refit, and refresh on the 2d of June. Each had procured upwards of twenty-five tons of spermaceti oil since they left port, and had seen the Britannia, which had still better success, having one hundred and ten tons of oil on board.

On the 3d the Indispensible sailed on a fishing voyage, after having been careened and repaired in the Cove.

The masters of the whalers, asserted that ships properly fitted for the variable weather they are liable to meet with on the coast, must most undoubtedly succeed.

In the evening on the 4th, the weather became tempestuous, which continued for three days blowing a heavy gale from the Southward, with a deluge of rain; several public buildings, erected with great labour, were very much damaged; among others was the tower of the new mill at Sydney, which was so much injured, that it was found necessary to take the whole down.

This gale subsiding, returned about the middle of the month, blowing with increased violence, and attended with another deluge of rain. Its effects were more destructive than the former, doing great injury to various public and private buildings. One side of the church tower was destroyed, the clock was, however, fortunately saved. The government house at Paramatta, which was nearly finished, received very material injury, but was not entirely destroyed. A man, crossing a gully betwixt Sydney and Paramatta, was carried away by the torrent and drowned. The cattle suffered much, and some of both the public and private stock perished.

The storm did so much damage, that the settlement was thrown back at least 12 months in those works, which would have been shortly completed. The weather had never been so severe as at the beginning of this month. The settlement had from the fires of the summer, and the floods and gales of the winter, suffered very considerably. In addition to these, great inconvenience arose from the late unproductive harvest, as well as from an exhausted store in the articles of clothing and bedding, the hostile disposition of the natives, and the absence of morality, honesty, and industry in the colonists.

Every exertion was made to redress the misfortunes suffered by the late tempest, and it was hoped they would be surmounted during the present year. The erection of the stone prison at Sydney, was found very expensive, the Governor therefore called a meeting of the officers, inhabitants, and landholders, and proposed a portion to be furnished by each, of money, as well as labour; which was agreed to by them; and that building was carried on at their expense, the public stores only furnishing the iron wanted.

On the 29th, the Albion arrived from England, having made the quick passage of only three months and 15 days. She brought 900 tierces of salt pork, and some dispatches.

Mr. Ebor Bunker, who commanded the Albion, had been at Port Jackson in the William and Ann transport, and was now commissioned by her owners, Messrs. Champions, to give the whale fishing on the coast a fair trial. For this purpose the ship was fitted out liberal, with every store for her own use, and every comfort for her people.

On the 2d of July, a horrid murder was effected on Mr. Samuel Clode, one of the missionaries from Otaheite. This act of barbarity was committed at the brick-fields, in the hut of one Thomas Jones. His brains were beat out with an axe, and his throat cut so as nearly to sever the head from the body, which was then thrown into a sawpit full of water, and covered with bushes. Here it remained only until the following morning, when it was discovered by a labouring man, who went to get his hoe; which, to prevent being stolen, he had been in the habit of hiding every night in the sawpit.

Suspicion falling upon four persons, they were apprehended; and the criminal court being convened, three, Thomas Jones, (a soldier,) his wife, and John Albury, were, on the clearest evidence, convicted of the murder, and sentenced to suffer death.

It came out on the trial, that 10l. which Jones was indebted to Mr. Clode, tempted him to effect his destruction. For this purpose he told that unfortunate gentleman, that if he would call at his hut in the evening he would pay him. Mr. Clode called at the time appointed, and While stooping at a table to write a receipt, he received the first blow of the axe, from the hand of Jones (Albury's resolution, who it was agreed should give it, failing at the moment), this fellow had from some pecuniary transaction been under an obligation, and took this infernal method of discharging it.

They were convicted on the 4th, and executed on the 6th, on the spot were the murder was committed. The house was then pulled down and burnt, and the bodies of the two men were hung in chains near the place; the woman's was delivered for dissection to the surgeons.

To form a just idea of the shocking abandoned state of the settlement at this time, it will only be requisite to peruse the following orders, that were issued.

"From the late increased number of nocturnal robberies, there is much reason to suspect that the petty constables, and divisional watchmen are either extremely negligent in the performance of their duty, or that they suffer themselves to be prevailed on by the housebreakers to be less vigilant than that duty requires, and to connive at their depredations on the inhabitants. A continuance of this unpardonable remissness upon their part must dispose the more respectable inhabitants to believe them partakers with the thieves. It is, therefore, hereby particularly recommended by the Governor to every officer in the colony, as they value the security of their property, to give their utmost assistance to those immediately concerned in the executive part of the civil police, in putting as speedily as possible, a stop to so very great an evil. It is also particularly recommended to the principal inhabitants of the towns of Sydney and Paramatta, that they select a few of the most respectable of their number, in each division of these towns, whom they may authorize to consider, of the most effectual means of detecting the robber, and bringing them to trial; whether by such rewards as they may be enabled to offer, or by small divisional patroles for the night service, and who shall take that duty by turns, and be under the immediate direction of a reputable inhabitant, of their own choice, or an officiating constable selected from among the most sober and vigilent of that description of persons."

Proposals were to be sent to the Judge-Advocate's office, and a bench of magistrates were either to approve or alter them.

This order was published on the 2d, and next day the following appeared:

"The continual complaints which are made of the conduct of the female convicts require the most rigid and determined discipline with such characters, who to the disgrace of their sex, are far worse than the men, and are generally found at the bottom of every infamous transaction that is committed in the colony. It is hereby most strenuously recommended to the magistrates in general, that on proof being brought before them of any improper conduct in those dangerous and mischievous characters, or of any disobedience of orders, or neglect of such duty as they may be directed to perform, they may be ordered such exemplary punishment, either corporal or otherwise, as the nature of their crime may call for. This measure will appear the more necessary, when it is recollected, that formerly, when such punishments were had recourse to, these women gave much less trouble, and were far more orderly in their conduct."

The superintendants were directed not to allow them to leave their work, but to see they were employed during those hours allotted for their labour.

The first of the orders was attended with effect; for in a few days, several who had been out of their time, were employed only in wandering from one district to another, without any honest means of getting bread, were apprehended, and being examined, were ordered to labour.

The genius of wickedness ever ready to reap advantage by any oversight, or want of caution, either on the part of government or individuals, now largely availed themselves of the little precaution used, on receiving live-stock at the public stores, and actually made a regular practice of stealing hogs, &c. during the night, and selling them the next day at the store; but no sooner was this detected, than the Governor ordered nothing to be received without a voucher as to whose property it was.

The middle of July was occupied in taking an account of the inhabitants of the settlements, the land in cultivation, and live-stock on hand, for the purpose of forwarding to England with the next dispatches. The number of acres in wheat amounted to 4393, and in maize to 1440, or thereabouts.

A sealer at the Hawkesbury, who had been a convict, had more land in cultivation than any individual in that district, having 46 acres in wheat, and five in maize.

A man, left by a Mr. Hogan, in the care of some land bought by him in 1796, had now 200 acres in wheat, and the Commissary, Mr. Palmer, had an agent who, by great attention, had got upwards of 290 acres in wheat.

Hogs were still numerous in this district, notwithstanding the great slaughter amongst them of late for the store. The settlers had indeed few sheep, but nearly 250 goats.

The ground in cultivation was considerably less in the neighbourhood of Paramatta, but the settlers were also proportionally few. The number of settlers at the Hawkesbury being nearly 200, and at Paramatta only 100. The widow of a superintendant had 50 acres in wheat, and 23 in maize. A man, named Edward Elliot, who had withstood every temptation to sell the single ewe given him by Governor Phillip*, had now 116 sheep, and was in a fair way of becoming a man of considerable property.

[* Vide page 163. [Chapter VI]]

I had myself at this period, a live-stock consisting of 13 sheep, 55 goats, and 2 mares, with 25 acres of ground in wheat; but esteemed myself much richer, in possessing the good opinion of every gentleman in the country which I trust I shall retain for the very few years, I may in all probability be in existence, for endeavouring to discharge the important office committed to my charge, has materially affected my health, but while I am honoured with any office under government, I shall, I hope, never be found wanting in the execution of my duty, even though I forfeit a life, which I lament has not always been so worthily employed!

In the district of Paramatta, the total of the live-stock were 332 sheep, 903 goats, and 428 hogs.

The land in cultivation about Sydney, was very inconsiderable, and the live-stock, exclusive of the officers and free settlers, was only 38 sheep, 292 goats, and 362 hogs, the convict settlers amounted to 70 only.

Thus the agricultural affairs of the country were by no means in a contemptible state, and how very far superior must they have been, had the convicts and other labourers used any thing like decent industry. All the females among the wild herd of cattle in the woods, still remained untouched by order of the Governor, and it was determined they should remain so, till the period arrived, when from its increased numbers it might afford a permanent supply, and the too numerous males, at present afforded an agreeable variety, to the rations delivered from the stores.

The Hillsborough transport arrived from England on the 26th of July, when she sailed, the number of male convicts on board, amounted to three hundred, but the gaol fever, breaking out among them on the passage, ninety-five died which number was encreased by six more within a few days after they landed.

The erection of the stone gaol proceeding too slowly, the constables of the divisions of Sydney were ordered to inform the inhabitants of their divisions, that they must furnish from each, viz. from King's, Nepean's, Banks's, and Maskelyne's divisions, as well as from the Brick-fields, five men each day and a watchman to attend them. These were to be relieved by the same number every day, as long as the work should require such assistance.

In the beginning of August the Governor employed several days taking an excursion from Prospect Hill to the settlement near George's river. Having formerly surveyed the country from Paramatta to that river, he determined to trace it in another direction, and had the satisfaction of finding, that it was equally favourable to cultivation with that before taken notice of. The distance from the hill was about five miles, over very fine ground, adapted for cultivation and pasturage, and equal to any part of New South Wales. The settlers placed there were doing very well, and had not been troubled for some time by the natives. His Excellency now proceeded down the river to Botany Bay, and walked from there to Sydney, the space between which places is nothing but barren and uneven ground, covered very generally with flowering heath.

In a few days after his return, the Norfolk arrived from the Northward.

The Governor being anxious to obtain some information relative to the coast Northward of Port Jackson, and more particularly of two openings laid down by Capt. Cook, the further-most North of which he called Hervey Bay, and seemed to lie in latitude 24° 36' South, Lieut. Flinders, was directed by his Excellency to proceed in the Norfolk Northward, and examine them with all the accuracy six weeks would suffer him.

The Norfolk was manned from the two king's ships, and Lieut. Flinders took with him a native named Bong-ree, who was remarkable for his good disposition. To guard against accidents, they were supplied with eleven weeks provisions, and the vessel sailed on the 8th of July on this service to the Northward, and Lieut. Flinders on his return delivered to the Governor the substance of the following particular and very interesting account:

Soon after seven in the morning of the 9th they sounded, without finding ground at fifteen fathoms, at the distance of half a mile from a reef of black rocks. There were two low and dangerous rocks, lying between three and four miles from this point.

Sounding again they found ground with ten fathoms of line, half a mile from shore, abreast Cape Hawke. Two hills noticed by Capt. Cook stood on the Cape, and were covered with brush-wood, and the strata lay many degrees from horizontal. From the Cape the coast falls back, forming a double bay. The land which was low, rose gradually, ridge over ridge inland, which made the country look pleasant from the sea, though the trees were very small indeed.

In the morning of the 10th they discovered the vessel had been carried by a current considerably to the Southward, and at noon found a difference of thirty-three miles.

The sloop was this morning found to have a bad leak, which admitted water so fast that one pump was obliged to be kept constantly at work. Its coming on suddenly was considered not to have been occasioned by any strain. But from whatever cause it arose it was of a serious nature, as the maize with which the sloop had been loaded continually choaking up the pumps.

The Solitary Isles came in sight on the 11th, Lieut. Flinders intended to have landed on them, but no inducement presented itself; as on them he saw neither a seal or bird. They appeared covered with brush; the colour of the rock, and general appearance, much resembled the small islands off Tasman's-head. At noon the country still continued to have the same irregular appearance; but running along the shore it evidently grew worse, having a still greater tendency to sand. The several projections of land which appeared, often presented the appearance of openings behind; which hopes they were inclined to entertain, as Capt. Cook passed this part in the night.

Early in the afternoon a small island opened from a low rocky point, behind which a small river run to the S.W. but breakers appeared to extend nearly across the entrance.

A peaked hill, standing four or rive miles inland, and more conspicuous than usual was seen soon after three o'clock P.M. Before five, the vessel stood in for an opening, and soon after dusk she anchored in two and a half fathoms of water on a hard bottom of sand.

The objects in view inducing Lieut. Flinders to enter this bay were, that he might by day-light run along the remaining part of the coast, which Capt. Cook had only sailed by in the night, and to seek a place of safety, should the wind fail him on his return. The leak in the sloop was also a material inducement; for should the place prove to be of consequence enough to expend a few days in examining, and a place offer for laying her on shore, he meant to get it stopped.

Examining this bay in his boat, he found it very shallow; and the North point of the entrance proved a projecting spot of sandy ground. Returning to the sloop at noon, he landed on the South head to observe the latitude. The sun being half an hour from the meridian allowed him time to examine three huts standing in a circular form, at a little distance. The frame was composed of strong tendrils of the vine, crossing each other in all directions, bound by strong grass at the intersections. The roof was bark, resembling that of the Tea-tree at Port Jackson, and so laid on as to keep out both wind and rain. The entrance was by a small avenue projecting from the periphery of the circle, and not leading directly into the hut, but turned to prevent the rain beating in. The height of the under part of the roof was about five feet, and had collected a coat of soot, from fires having been made in the middle of the huts. One was a double hut with two recesses under one entrance, and large enough to contain fifteen people. Bong-ree observed they were much superior to any huts made by savages which he had ever seen. He brought away a small hand-basket, made of some leaf, capable of holding two or three quarts of water.

White cockatoos and parroquets were now seen, and a crow with a note remarkable short and hasty. Pelicans, gulls and red-bills, frequented the shoals, and the country was sandy wherever landed. The palm nut tree found here was the third kind mentioned by Capt. Cook as produced on the Eastern coast of New South Wales; and as Bong-ree, who was acquainted with the country as far as Port Stephens, never saw it before, this was probably one of the most Southern situations in which it grew.

The nuts were seen about the fireplaces of the natives; the lower end of which had been sucked, which method was afterwards practised, on procuring some ripe ones. The taste though pleasant at first, left an astringency behind, that by no means tempted a second trial. The eatable part of the nut was so small, as not to be worth sucking out from the fibres. Their size was that of a walnut; within the outer skin was a hard shell like that of the cocoa nut; and within this, two, or more almond-like kernels. The nut, when taken from the tree, was an assemblage of these kernels set into a cone, varying, in the size of a man's fist, to that of a melon. The size, and indentations on the surface, on a first view looked much like the outward form of the breadfruit. The stem of the tree was short, and none were observed to be eighteen inches in diameter. The branches did not ramify into twigs, but preserved their size to the extreme, where the leaves were produced surrounding the fruit. One or two smaller branches struck off from the main branch, and produced their leaves in the same way, without fruit The height of the tree altogether might be from fifteen to twenty-five feet. Suckers or branches of all sizes were seen shooting out below those bearing fruit, growing downwards along the stem, which entered the ground and formed roots, as well as supporters to the tree.

This bay not appearing to deserve a particular examination, Lieut. Flinders got under weigh at one o'clock in the afternoon of the 12th.

On Saturday the 13th, at ten in the morning they were three miles from Cape Byron, and the peak of Mount Warning just appeared over it. Having hauled more off the shore, to avoid the reef lying off Point Danger, on the following morning they were at a great distance from land. They now steered West for a large space, where no land was visible, and, perceiving breakers off the South point of the opening, found this was Moreton Bay. Passing between these breakers and Point Look-out, they got ground in twenty fathoms water. As they drew nearer, there appeared to be a large extent of water in the opening; but Lieut. Flinders suspected there was no passage for a vessel in the direction he was steering. The country to the sea-ward was very sandy. Cape Moreton was at dusk only distant two miles; and the highest Glass-House, presented itself over the distant land. Two hummocks resembling haycocks, distinct from any other land, opened soon after to the Southward.

The vessel was now hauled in round Cape Moreton, to go into Glass-House Bay. They steered West till eight o'clock, when having little wind, and that from the Southward, they dropped anchor. Weighing again the next morning, the 14th, they worked near the Eastern shore till noon.

While within a mile of the shore, ten natives were distinctly seen, half of whom were most probably women, as they kept behind the others. The men made many gestures to our people. One had a green branch in his hand, which he waved from the ground on one side of him to the other, and some of them ran into the water occasionally, and beat the surface with sticks. They appeared to be friendly, using the same word in calling as that made use of by the Port Jackson natives, and appeared very desirous indeed, that the vessel should proceed up the bay.

In the evening Lieut. Flinders anchored in eleven fathoms water, two miles from shore.

On Tuesday, the 16th, at day-light, they weighed to turn up the bay. In their progress, they found various depths of water; and, perceiving an opening in the Western land, Lieut. Flinders wished to anchor near it, but shoal water prevented him. At a quarter past eight in the morning, however, they cast anchor in three fathoms of water.

Lieut. Flinders went in his boat towards the opening, taking with him Bong-ree the native. As they approached the sandy point on the East side of the opening, some dogs came down upon the beech, and shortly several natives appeared, carrying fishing nets over their shoulders. They lay upon their oars some time, conversing with them by signs, and repeating the words which they made use of. As they seemed to be friendly, Bong-ree resolved to visit them; and seeing nothing among them but the pieces of firewood, which these savages usually carry about with them, the boat was backed in, when he jumped on shore, naked, and as unarmed as themselves.

He soon made an exchange of the yarn belt from his waist, for a fillet of kangaroo hair. The muskets were kept at hand in the boat to guard against any treachery; every thing seeming to go on well, the natives appearing rather shy than otherwise, Lieut Flinders joined his companion, taking his gun with him. By making friendly signs, laying down the gun, and offering a woollen cap, he was suffered to approach, and one took the cap; but when Lieut. Flinders made him understand he expected his net bag in return, he let him know he must first give him his hat. This hat, made of white filaments of the cabbage-tree, seemed to excite the attention of the whole party.

As the hat was not given to the native, he came forward, first throwing the cap on the bank behind him, to secure it, and seemed very anxious for the hat or gun, if not both. Every tiling was, however, still carried on very amicably; and Lieut. Flinders, with Bong-ree, made slowly towards the boat, but turned again, as he found they pressed too close after them. One native laughing, and talking as well as he could to Lieut. Flinders, tried to take his hat with a hooked stick, which, on being discovered caused a laugh. Behind another was stretching his arm to the same object, but fear prevented his coming near enough to reach it.

When our people got into the boat, and shoved her into deep water, they were not pleased, but tried to induce them to land again. Finding this not succeed, one threw his piece of fire-wood at them; as it fell short the matter was treated as a joke. Another now ran into the water, and threw his, which likewise fell short: he then took the hooked stick, and slipped off the hook, which was only tied on, shewed a spear, with which he ran up to his middle in water, and threw; it passed over the center of the boat, but touched no one.

In consequence of this unprovoked attack, Lieut. Flinders snapped his gun at the man who threw the spear; the flint being wet, it missed fire; but as the offender still stood in the water with his back towards them, and calling to his companions, Lieut. Flinders again tried, and the gun again missed fire.

During this transaction, the greater part of the natives were observing Lieut. Flinders' motions with much unconcern. On the third trial, however, it went off. The man in the water fell flat, as did every individual among them; but those on the shore rose directly, and scrambled away, some upright and others upon their hands and feet. One of the people in the boat then fired among them, and they fell again upon their faces; but, as none were killed, they all got up, and made off behind a bank. The man in the water now rose up, and proceeded the same way, but his progress was slower than the others, he stooped much, carrying one hand behind him on his back. From whence it was thought he had been wounded, he continually looked over his shoulder, perhaps expecting to see a spear sticking in his back. Bong-ree said another native had his arm broke by the second shot.

This wanton attack, which obliged the party to fire on these people, in order to maintain that superiority which they esteemed it requisite to assert, Lieut. Flinders thought might be the means of preventing future mischief, by giving them an extensive idea of his power, and thus deter them from any future attempt in his intercourse with them. For as he had to examine this bay, and the leak was to be stopped, it became probable they would often meet; and he was satisfied of the great influence which the awe of a superior power has on savages, to create respect.

With this view he fired at a man among the trees, who being above two hundred yards off, certainly esteemed himself safe. One of the balls grazed the bank in a line for him, but if it took effect, it could not be seen. They then landed to bring away the nets, which it was supposed the natives in their flight had forgot to take with them. On viewing the bank to ascertain the position of the natives, he saw several running various ways among the trees, with an apparent design of coming round on them; and, not knowing their force or numbers, Lieut. Flinders ordered the native and a man who had landed to return to the boats, as no nets were left as expected.

The low sandy point where this business happened, obtained for it the name of Point Skirmish; they afterwards proceeded up the opening, which proved to be a river leading to the Glass-House peaks. These peaks stood on the low flat ground, much within the mountains, and as far as could well be judged, had a volcanic appearance, as a quantity of pumice-stone was found lying at the high-water mark on the shore, where Lieut. Flinders landed to mark the nature of the country, not being able to proceed in his boat.

Among the most common trees there was one differing from any at Port Jackson. The leaves were of a dark hue, and bore resemblance to the pine. The wood on being cut smelt of turpentine, which exuded where the bark had been wounded. The external part was white, but the body was of a reddish brown, the bark resembling that of the iron bark tree at Port Jackson.

The blue gum, she-oak, and cherry tree of Port Jackson were also here, and one with the leaves of the gum tree, but with the soft bark of the tea tree, and the soil it grew in was sandy. Fearing the natives might surprise them among the trees, they did not go far from the beach.

Several huts, from 12 to 15 feet in length, were standing near each other. They appeared like a covered archway, rounded at the end. The roofs, and way of securing them, were nearly the same as those in Shoal Bay; but these had no curved entrance to keep out the weather, nor was the hut smaller in that part than elsewhere, the sides and roof were equally calculated to shelter the inhabitants from a storm, In one of them was found a small light shield, and in another a net, which had a hag to it, knotted and made in the same way as it would have been if made by an European workman.

Returning to the sloop they passed a dry shoal lying at the entrance of the river, the deep channel into which was between this shoal and Point Skirmish, where they found from three to six fathoms water.

Before he left the sloop, Lieut. Flinders gave directions to examine a part on the starboard side, where he suspected the leak to be; and on his return found it to have been occasioned by the starting of a plank from the timber near the keel. The caulker had filled it up with oakum from the inside, since which she had made but little water.

From the situation in which the sloop lay, the bay had not any appearance of closing round, but seemed to promise a large river at its head, and a communication with Moreton Bay. At three in the afternoon they got under weigh to proceed up this river, with a light air from the Northward, standing to the Southward till dark, at which time they anchored three miles from the shore, in five fathoms, on a soft muddy bottom.

On Wednesday the 17th, at day-light, the sloop got under weigh, with a Southerly breeze, as long as the tide lasted, and anchored about ten o'clock, a mile and a half from a point remarkable for its red cliffs. To the Westward of this point, the latitude was 27° 16' 25" South. The rocks were stone, impregnated with iron, with some pieces of granite and crystal about the shore.

From this point they made to a green headland, two miles Westward. The reefs off this head appeared a truly remarkable miniature of those that form a barrier to the North shore of New South Wales.

In a hut standing on the side of the head, they found a net fourteen fathoms long, with meshes larger than any English seine, and of much stronger twine; its depth was, however, much less, being only three feet, and at each end was a stick of nearly the same length, pointed at the end. On the shoal near the hut were several semicircular inclosures, made Math sticks and branches, set and interwoven so close, that no fish could pass. The net Lieut. Flinders supposed was to be placed across the semicircle at high water, and thus secure the fish that might get within the inclosure, until the tide should leave them dry. He brought away the net, as a proof of the ingenuity of these natives, and left them in return a hatchet, and that they might learn the great use of it, he cut down several branches, and laid them near the hut.

Some wood, which the crew at high water collected for their fire, proved to be cedar of a fine grain. The remnant of a canoe made of bark was found lying on the shore, near the hut from which the net had been taken.

Many traces of dogs, kangaroos, and emus, were seen on the beach. Two hawks were shot, and their plumage was very much unlike any known at Port Jackson. The most remarkable was a dull red colour in the body, with a white neck, breast, and head.

During the afternoon they made a further progress with the sloop till night, when they anchored, and the following morning got under weigh with a flood tide, and a gentle breeze from the Northward. They shortly passed two islands three or four miles each in circuit. The Northernmost was the largest, well covered with wood. The trees up the Southern island were equally dark with this, but the land of the interior part was higher than the Northernmost, which was nearly level with the water. Besides these there were two smaller islands, nearly on a level with the first, covered pretty well with wood, but the Southernmost was very small indeed.

Going between these two islands in deep water, it suddenly shoaling they tacked to the Westward. This entrance from Moreton Bay was open, and the South side bore N.68°E. six or eight miles, and the West of Moreton Island bore N.2°W. Another island, larger than either mentioned, bore from S.55° to 34°E. distant about five miles. Allowing the Northernmost of the four to be the first, they made for the third island after tacking, and the water deepened directly to six fathoms.

Their attention was attracted by some natives from these islands, who appeared standing up in their canoes, and pulling to them, in regular order. They seemed to have long poles or spears with which they appeared to be paddling, all shifting their hands at the same instant. About twenty of them were counted, and were thought to be coming on with much resolution, so the crew prepared for the event whatever it might be. The Norfolk was put under easy sail, her decks cleared and each man had a number of musquet-balls, pistol-balls, and buck-shot, to be used as distance might seem to render requisite; as it was determined not one should escape if they made an attack.

Thus prepared, they bore towards them, but finding at length that notwithstanding all their exertions they did not approach any nearer the vessel; to their great surprize they discovered that instead of being in canoes to attack them, they were standing on a flat, which surrounded the third island, driving fish into their nets, and that they in fact, had only two canoes among them. They stood all in a line, splashing the water with sticks, first on one side and then on the other. This apparently hostile array thus proved to be only a few men fishing, and they were so peaceable that on the vessel's approach they sunk their canoes on the flat, and retreating to the island made their fires.

From the situation of the sloop at anchor, at noon Glass-House Bay appeared closed round, except at one opening which bore S.27°E. To turn up this, they sailed as soon as the ebb tide slacked. On standing near the South part of the shoal which seemed to surround the island that the natives had retired to, one came down abreast the sloop, making gestures, and running backwards and forwards, but little attention was paid him, Lieut. Flinders intending to get as far up, the bay as possible while the tide served. At midnight he anchored as the deep water now became contracted to a narrow channel.

The next day Lieut. Flinders landed on an island in his passage. Recent footsteps of dogs, were numerous on the beach, but traces of men but just visible: there were several fire-places, and various other proofs of the island being visited. This island was three miles in circumference. The central part of which was higher than the skirts, and covered with fine mould. On the S.E. side of the island it descended in a steep bank, where the earth was as red as blood; and some parts of it were as hard as rock. The trees on it were large and luxuriant. On the S.W. and N.E. sides it was low and sandy, and the palm nut-tree flourished here. These nuts it was supposed formed the principal inducement for the natives to visit this island; particularly as there was abundant testimony under the trees that they did not fall off and rot. They found some boughs ranged to keep off the wind; and from the fire-places which they were to defend, it was thought not less than five or six natives had made this their residence, but as they met with no huts regularly constructed, it was probably only a temporary one.

Black and the white cockatoos, the beautiful lilac-headed parroquet, and the bald-headed mocking bird of Port Jackson, were seen, but no marks of resident quadrupeds, rats excepted, could be discovered.

Beyond this island the bay was contracted into a river, of considerable width, but it appeared so shoal, and so difficult of access, that Lieut Flinders gave up all idea of pursuing it, particularly as the winds were adverse: so he returned on board, with the intention of visiting the river near the Glass-House peaks, and there to lay the sloop on shore, and procure a supply of water.

The following day passed in endeavouring to get into the river, which, from the pumice-stone found on its shores, was called Pumice-Stone River. And at sun-set they anchored within two miles of its entrance.

On the morning of Sunday the 21st, Lieut. Flinders went in his boat to examine the river, and its entrance. On nearing Point Skirmish, several natives came down towards the boat unarmed, and, by friendly offers of their girdles and nets, would fain have pursuaded him to land; but as he could not be satisfied they had not some treacherous design, or whether their being unarmed arose from any confidence they might be inclined to place, he did not choose to trust them, so proceeded in his examination of the river.

Notwithstanding he found the shoals very intricate; yet, as there was depth of water enough for the sloop, he determined to get her in.

On these shoals several pelicans were seen; and they did not go far before they were saluted with the well-known note of the swan, which bird now took so much of their attention, that before they left the river eight were killed.

Having now nearly reached the end of their excursion, two natives came to the beach, and were very desirous they should land. Being dry sand and at a distance to be safe from the reach of spears, they put ashore on it. Lieut. Flinders taking up his gun to fire at two red-bills, at the same time, the natives alarmed ran to the woods; Bong-ree following they returned, when he made an exchange for their hair fillets and belts, giving them a woollen cap in return, and came to the boat for a piece of cloth and some biscuit, to make the exchange more equal. During this time Lieut. Flinders was on shore with a gun, to cover him in case they behaved improperly. On his advancing to them, they were very violent for him to keep at a distance, and would by no means suffer him to approach without laying down his gun. Though this place was six miles from Point Skirmish, it was evident that the fame and dread of fire-arms had reached it, and undoubtedly it must have been considerably increased by the shooting of the swans, which they witnessed.

Returning down the river, they were hailed by a man on the West side, with a spear in his hand; and two women and several children being with him argued much against any premeditated hostility. The women and children retired on the vessel approaching; the shore; but they were observed to be peeping from the bushes. The man was very anxious for the gun being laid down, calling out "woo-rah, woo-rah", and seemed delighted when it was complied with; but he did not appear to have heard many particulars of their dangerous power, for on pointing a musquet towards him, he by no means appeared sensible of any danger to himself. As he would not quit his spear, and night was approaching, they did not land, but backed in to throw him a stocking, which they shewed him might be worn as a cap, and then sailed on.

Monday the 22d was taken up in getting the sloop in the river, which with some difficulty was accomplished, having to find out a channel through a number of shoals. Having found a proper place to lay the sloop on shore, on Thursday the 25th, they completed stopping the leak, and was again in a condition to prosecute the excursion to the Glass-House peaks.

A few hours before high water on the 23d, he attempted to get some swans, but met with none but could fly. He saw several large fish, or animals that came up to the surface of the water to blow, like the porpoise, or seal, they did not spout, and had no dorsal fin. The head resembled the bluff-nosed hair seal, but their size was larger than any Lieut. Flinders had seen. He fired three balls into one, and Bong-ree threw a spear in another; both sunk, and were not seen again. These animals were supposed to be sea-lions, and were observed no where but in this river.

Not finding fresh water to fill up their casks, they dug a hole in a low situation a hundred yards inland. The first foot was fine vegetable earth, mixed with a little black sand; the three following feet were different layers of sand, and then they came to the hardened black clay of which the rocks on the banks were formed. Here the water began to ooze in at the sides of the hole, which in the course of six-and-thirty hours was filled, but with very thick water. Fortunate, however, there was no occasion to make use of it; as one of the people, rather incautiously strayed into the wood, and met with a deep hole containing some very good water, and with this they completed their stock.

While they were making up the sails, which had been loosed in the morning to dry, three natives appeared on the beach, a little distance from the vessel, unarmed as before. Bong-ree went to them in his usual manner, but they would not suffer Lieut. Flinders, or indeed any of the party to come near them, without previously laying down their guns. Yarn caps, pork, and biscuit, were given them, all of which they took, with apparent delight, and made signs for Bong-ree to go with them, that they might give him girdles and fillets, for his head and arms. While their visitors were only two, the natives seemed lively, dancing and singing; but, the number of white men increasing to eight, they became alarmed and seeming to look with a jealous eye on the shot belt Lieut. Flinders wore, which they undoubtedly must have thought to be some weapon.

To restore their confidence, he gave it one of the people to carry away; but this he thought wrong, as it might tend to make them suspicious of every thing they saw, and thus destroy their friendly intercourse. By this belt they certainly recognised Lieut. Flinders as the person who fired on them before, and were evidently desirous that he should keep at a much greater distance than any other person. Three of the sailors, who were Scotch, attempted to dance a reel, but made a very bad business of it, which the natives seemed to view either without amusement or curiosity. Finding at length they could not persuade the natives to visit the sloop, they parted with them in a very friendly manner.

On Thursday the 25th, having weighed anchor, and proceeded up the river in the afternoon, as they might be nearer the Glass-House peaks, as he now intended to visit them. Some parts of the fiver, were from four to six fathoms deep; but the channel was divided, and narrow. Coming to an anchor near that part of the Western shore where the man and his family called to them; and at this time they saw a fire, and heard several voices near the same place.

The next morning Lieut. Flinders took the boat up a small branch which seemed to lead towards the peaks; but afterwards, joining the same stream, formed two very low islands, leaving the Glass-Houses at some distance on the left hand. Between nine and ten o'clock he left the boat, taking with him two seamen and the native. Steering N.W. by W. through a low swampy country, till they came to the side of a creek, the banks of which were low, muddy, and covered with mangroves. This creek carried them by the head of it, where the stream, passing through a rocky swamp, permitted them to wade over it. From here they steered till they obtained a sight of the flat-topped peak, which appeared to be nearer than the highest Glass-House, which was that he first meant to visit; but finding one of the mounts with sloping sides considerably nearer, he altered his course for it; and, after walking nine miles from the boat, reached its top.

The country they passed through was low and swampy, and towards the end of their journey the way was somewhat uneven. In those swampy parts the surface was full of holes, where the water lodging, walking was both difficult and tiresome. The higher places were either sandy or stoney, and in these the grass tree or gum rush abounded.

The mount itself was a pile of stones. The vegetable matter that lodged in the cavities produced a covering of long grass, very fit for thatch: the trees on the mount were like those on the level ground, but much taller.

From the summit they viewed the bay and surrounding country which was very extensive.

Near the head of Pumice-Stone river was a large sheet of water, which seemed to divide into branches, and others still smaller falling into this below, the whole formed channels, which, ramifying through the low country, drew off what water might collect within the ridge of the back mountains. These appeared to be distant between ten and twenty miles, and the intermediate country to be as low as that just walked over.

From this mount, the way was over an irregular country, the higher parts of which were sandy and stoney, the lower swampy as before. About half way between it and the flat-topped peak, by a stream of water they rested for the night. At seven next morning they found themselves under the steep cliffs of the flat-topped peak. The stone of which was of a whitish cast, close-grained and hard, but light and though there not stratified, there were many fissures in it. Some distance from the peak lay some pieces of a reddish-coloured stone, and some small pieces of granite scattered about.

Lieut. Flinders was surprized at not meeting with any volcanic appearances, as the pumice-stone in the river, and the situation of these stupendous peaks, standing upon low flat ground, led him to form some expectations of that kind.

The steepness of its sides prevented any idea of reaching the summit of the flat-topped peak, therefore he directed his course to the river, steering S.S.E. not only to clear the head of the creek, but the swamps; this direction took him very far inland; and upon his altering the course lo reach the place where he had left the boat, he had to cross a broad stream of fresh water, which fell in lower down, and to walk near three miles to reach the water side. He however reached the place with great readiness, and was presented with a black swan the people in the boat had caught, and which was at the moment ready to satisfy the appetites of his party, who were perfectly prepared to do it every justice.

The traces of men and animals were few, and rarely met with in the upper parts during this excursion; but Lieut. Flinders found a new species of pheasant, about the size of a magpye. The emu was not seen, though its voice had been heard so repeatedly, as to induce him to suppose that bird must be numerous. The inland part of the country was higher and better than in the neighbourhood of the salt water, but no where did he meet with any calculated for the production of the wheat.

They reached the sloop in the evening of Saturday the 27th, and as soon as the ebb tide permitted, the following morning they got under weigh to return down the river, and as they proceeded, there were many natives on the shore abreast of them, who seemed anxious for them to land, dancing and singing to obtain attention, and express their own good-will; but as they could not effect their wishes, they followed the sloop along the banks, and their hopes seemed to revive by the trips which the vessel made in tacking occasionally towards the shore.

The intricacy of the channels proved a great impediment to their progress, but they could not get out of the river in one tide, so were obliged to anchor about a mile short of the entrance: 18 swans were procured in this river.

Soon after anchoring, Lieut. Flinders took some of his people with axes on shore to cut a log of the pine for the workmen at Port Jackson to ascertain the kind and value of the wood. There was a house and several natives near the place, with whom Bong-ree was talking to when the tree fell, the crash and report of which startled them, and probably assisted in giving them a high idea of their visitors. These people were still averse to the appearance of a musket. The worthy native. Bong-ree, made them a present of one of his spears, and a thro wing-stick, of which he shewed them the use, for they appeared to be wholly ignorant of the latter, and their weapons of the former kind were inferior to his.

Bad weather detained Lieut. Flinders hen two days, during which they were occasionally visited by the natives, who came down upon both sides of the river, and entertained them with singing and dancing: their singing, indeed, could not be distinctly heard, being nearly lost in the wind.

While lying here, Lieut. Flinders had an opportunity of observing their manner of fishing, which was perfectly novel even to his companion Bong-ree. The party on the East shore, near which the vessel lay, went out every morning at day light along the side of the river with nets on their shoulders; and the mode in which they used them was, whichever saw a fish, by some dextrous manoeuvre got at the back of it, and spread out his scoop net: others prevented its escaping on either side, and in one or other of their nets the fish was infallibly caught. With these nets they saw them run sometimes up to their middle in water, and they were generally successful, after fishing they made a fire near the beach, and sat down by it to regale with their fish, which was no sooner out of the water than on the fire.

The rain clearing up on Tuesday, in the afternoon, a party went to the Eastern shore to procure fire-wood, and comply with the desire which the natives had expressed of seeing them land. On approaching them, they carried their nets away to the wood, but three of them who remained, suffered the white people to advance without laying down their muskets, which never happened before. They were still timorous; but on being requested by signs to sing, they began a song in concert, which actually was musical and pleasing, and in rather a melancholy strain. Bong-ree gave them a song at the conclusion of theirs, which sounded barbarous; but he was thought a poor singer in his own country.

These, like the natives of Port Jackson, falling to a low pitch of their voice, recommenced their song at the octave, which they accompanied by slow and graceful motions, their hands being held in a supplicating posture, and the tone and manner of their song and gestures seemed to bespeak the good will of their auditors. Observing they were paid attention to, they each selected one of out people, and placed his mouth close to his ear, as if to produce a greater effect, or teach them the song, which their silent attention might seem to express a desire to learn. In return for the pleasure they afforded, Lieut. Flinders gave them some worsted caps, and old blanket trowsers, with which they were greatly gratified. Other natives soon made their appearance, but it was some little time before they overcame their dread of approaching those strangers with fire-arms; but, encouraged by the three who were with them, they came up, and a general song and dance commenced.

Among those who last came, three were remarkable for their large heads; and the face of one was so very rough, that it had much more the appearance of a baboon than of a human being. He was covered with oil and soot; his hair matted with filth; his visage, even compared with his fellow countrymen's was uncommonly ferocious; and his large mouth, beset with teeth of various filthy hues between black, white, green, and yellow, and sometimes smile< in a way which might make any one shudder.

Among other friendly interchanges, the learned the names of Lieut. Flinders and his party. Him they called "Midger Plindah", and his brother Mr. Samuel Flinders, they named "Dam-wel". Three of their names were Yel-yel-bah, Ye-woo, and Bo-ma-ri-go. The resemblance of this last to Porto Rico imprinted it on Lieut. Flinders's recollection. When these people joined the party, the strangers were shown and their names severally told them, until they had learnt the pronunciation. The ceremony was reciprocal, and accorded with what Capt. Cook had said before of an inhabitant of Endeavour river, "he introduced the strangers by name, a ceremony which upon such occasions was never omitted."

On a comparative view of the size of these people, they were evidently lower than the English, and perhaps less in every respect, except in the disproportionate size of the head; and indeed this was not general. In the features of the face, particularly in the elongation of the lower ones, in the small calf to the leg, and the curve of the thigh, they bore a general resemblance to the natives of Port Jackson; but there was not one in all this group, whose countenance had so little of the savage, or the symmetry of whose limbs expressed strength and agility, so much as those of Bong-ree.

A hawk presenting himself, Lieut. Flinders thought it a fair opportunity of shewing his new friends a specimen of the effect of his fire-arms. He made them understand what he intended; but, while shifting the buck-shot in the musquet for a charge of small shot, their agitation was so great, that they seemed to be on the point of running into the woods; however, an expedient to keep them was contrived; the seamen placed them in a cluster behind themselves, and in this situation they saw Lieut. Flinders approach towards the bird and fire. Their sensations at this moment must have been curious; for the hawk flew away, though much hurt, as the natives noticed, for its leg was broke. This disappointment brought to mind how ineffectual had been some former attempts of his to impress them with an idea of the superior power of their visitors. Bong-ree had annoyed his auditors with the barbarous sounds, and the clumsy exhibition of the Scotch dancers had all been viewed by them without either wonder or gratification.

These people go naked, except that they wore belts round the waist, and fillets about the head and upper parts of the arm. These were formed of hair, twisted into yarn like threads, and then into bandages. Indeed the inhabitants appeared to possess in general a pointed difference from those of New South Wales, particularly in their networks. To these may be added the bag in which they seemed to carry their portible property, and which was most probably of the same kind as those mentioned by Capt. Cook; but they were seen of different sizes, and two that Lieut. Flinders procured were very differently worked. They were shaped somewhat like a breast plate; and worn suspended from the neck, which led him, previous to his first interview with them, to suppose they were some kind of defence for the more vital parts. They were provided with nets for catching very large fish, or animals, as the fragments of a rotten one lying on the shore were picked up, the meshes of which were wide enough to admit the escape of a moderate sized porpoise; and the line of which it was made was from three quarters to an inch in circumference.

Lieut. Flinders thought this mode of procuring their food would cause a characteristic difference between the manners and dispositions of these people, and of those who mostly depend upon the spear or fiz-gig for a supply. In the one case, there must necessarily be a mutual operation of two or more, who would from necessity associate together. Those which had been met with in Shoal Bay and Glass-House Bay were far superior to any that had been seen in the neighbourhood of Port Jackson; this superiority Lieut. Flinders attributed to the different mode of procuring fish which had been adopted by the inhabitants. He likewise supposed that the use of nets, and consequently whatever resulted from such use, arose from the form of the bay, which being shoal for a considerable distance from the shores, gave the greatest advantage to nets, over every other method, more especially the setting and scoop nets. Pumice-Stone river being full of shoals, required the same manner of fishing; and it was observed that most if not all the islands in the bay were surrounded by intensive shoals, which, by extending the necessity, would assist in bringing nets into general use.

At one time they saw nearly twenty natives engaged in fishing on one flat, the greater part of whom were employed in driving fish into a net which was held by their companions. That they were so engaged, they convinced our people by one of the party holding up a fish to them while he was standing in the water.

During the time the sloop was in Glass-House Bay, they scarcely saw any of the women.

Of their canoes little could be said; for the only one they could examine was on the East side of Pumice-Stone river. This was formed of the stringy bark, and was much larger than any used at Port Jackson. The ends of it were tied up in the same manner, but it was very clumsy. None of the natives ever attempted to approach the sloop in canoes, though eight or ten were seen standing together, who appeared very desirous of having a communication with it.

On the day the sloop was laid ashore in the river, the rise of the tide was but three feet and nine inches. The tides were then neaped, and the remark made by Capt. Cook, that "they had only one high tide in twenty-four hours" seemed to apply in this bay; for, although the sloop was got up as high as the strength of the crew would admit, yet she righted a full hour and an half before the night tide had done flowing, and shortly after one man haled her off. The superior rise of the night tide was well known, and of course proper advantage was taken of it, at Port Jackson; the tide also rose the highest at Western Port, round the Southern promontory of New South Wales. The time of high-water in the river preceded the moon's passage over the meridian by two hours and a half.

On Wednesday the 31st having a moderate breeze at S. by W. with fine weather, they got under weigh and beat out of the river. Having passed fifteen days in Glass-House Bay, Lieut. Flinders was enabled to form a complete judgment of it. And found it so full of shoals, that he could not point out any passage that would lead a ship into it without danger.

Lieut. Flinders named the land on which Cape Moreton stood, Moreton Island, supposing that which Capt. Cook would have, given it, had he known its form. It appeared a strip of land the greatest extent East and West of which was not more than five miles; but its North and South extent Was about twenty-two miles. The ridge of land which ran along the middle of the island was nearly of the same height with the Cape; and though it appeared to be composed of piles of sand heaped together upon a base mostly of stone, it was interspersed with small trees calculated to mislead a distant observer, who would most probably think that some spots of it could not be classed among the most barren parts of the universe.

Passing out of the bay they saw a turtle lying asleep on the water, whence it became very probable, that taking these animals formed part of the labours of the inhabitants, and well indeed would it be if many of those who pride themselves on the high state of civilization, equally-well employed their time.

In his passage to Hervey's Bay, the next place of destination Lieut. Flinders was only two days; passing the Wide Bay of Capt. Cook on the 1st, and Sandy Cape on the 2d of August; the Southerly wind of the day veering round in the evening to the Eastward compelled him during the night to keep some distance from some land; but returning in the morning, he found Captain Cook's description of the coast applied exceedingly well.

During this run he passed one of those spotted flat-tailed snakes first noticed by Captain Cook in this latitude, and which appeared to be of the kind observed by Captain Dampier on the North West coast of New Holland.

In this bay Lieut Flinders remained till the 7th, during which time he had sailed round the interior without being able to enter any opening that might take him to a river. It was deep and extensive, the soundings in it irregular, and in several places he was prevented by breakers from approaching nearer the shore.

Hauling up for an opening which, he wished to examine, he came to a sandy inlet, laying at the mouth of it. Being unable to find a passage into the opening with the sloop, he came to an anchor and went ashore on this island which was surrounded with shoal water. The base of which he found to be a hard stone, over which was a covering of sand, mixed with coral and shells. There was a cluster of palms on it, and other small trees; a few large trees were lying on the shore, thrown clown by the wind or flood, assisted by the weight of the trees themselves, which the depth of soil was not able to support. Being about half ebb, the shoal was dry, on which, were some thousand curlews and gulls, and some pelicans; but all too shy to allow of his approach within musquet shot. On one of the trees was stuck the cap of a small whale's scull, and in one of the sockets, of the eyes a bird's nest, apparently of the last, season was discovered.

This islet must certainly have been visited by natives; for they found three spears, and near them was hidden a small shield, of the same form and substance as those seen near Pumice-Stone river. The spears were of solid wood, of twelve feet in length, and could not have been used with a throwing stick. One of them was barbed with a small piece of bone.

The forms of the shores about this harbour, apparently dividing it into two bays, an upper and lower; and the shore on the East side of the upper bay being high and bounded by steep cliffs Lieut. Flinders was induced to think a deep channel existed there, as the sheet of water extended six or seven miles square.

With the intention of accomplishing an Eastern passage to this upper bay, he returned on board from his visit to Curlew islet, and got the sloop under weigh; but was obliged to give up the idea, finding the shoal water so extensive as to make it probable it joined a line of breakers; and the sun being near the horizon, to get clear of the shoal water before dark, became a principal concern; these induced him to shape his course for an hummock on the West side of the bay.

The soundings deepened gradually to six fathoms; but, shoaling again to three and even two fathoms, Lieut. Flinders suspected the flood tide might set the vessel to the Southward towards the shore; this however, was not the case, for at day light next morning her situation was that expected, the sloping hummock bearing W.5°N. and their distance off shore about two miles.

Keeping along the shore till nine o'clock, the water shoaled to nine feet, and obliged them to haul off to the N.E. Being now to the Northward of where Capt. Cook had laid down the coast line, and the land being visible at W.10°N. and as far as N.W. from the mast head, he did not judge it necessary to pursue the search any longer under the supposition of there being a double bay, and therefore continued his course for the extreme of the sloping hummock called Break Sea Spit.

Round Hervey's Bay the coast was in general, low near the shore, and on the West side it extended to some distance inland. On that side the land wore a different appearance from that of Sandy Cape, there being few marks of sand, and the shore very rocky. Proceeding toward the head, the beaches presented themselves, and continued with little interruption into the upper bay. A large island lying off the entrance to the upper bay shewed no marks of sand, but was well covered with both wood and verdure. In height, it was equal to the high parts of the main, and being four or five miles in length, seemed to be a fire island. On the Eastern shore the sand was more or less apparent every where, increasing in quantity towards the Cape. The white cliffs that were noticed before contained chalk; the upper stratum, two or three feet in thickness, having a superior whiteness in those which were best seen.

With respect to fertility, the general aspect only can be spoken of. About the head of the bay, the trees were of a fair growth; grass seemed sufficiently abundant, there were few appearances of sand, and some parts of it were stony.

Respecting the inhabitants he had only time to observe, that their smokes were numerous about the bay, and that they at times frequented Curlew islet.

Of the animal, vegetable, or fossil productions of the bay, he could speak still less, the shortness of his stay permitting no examination.

From the appearance of the tide the day he landed on the islet, it was high water between twelve and one o'clock, which was three or four hours before the moon came on the meridian.

Having cleared the point of Break Sea Spit, on Thursday the 8th he proceeded on his return to Port Jackson. Passing the Mind between Smoky Cape and Solitary Isles in the day which had been before passed in the night, he observed it seemed to be higher than most parts of its coast, Mount Warning excepted; and even there it was not so high near shore. The view that he had of the land at sunset, when Smoky Cape bore S.25°W. distant fire or six leagues, induced Lieut. Flinders to imagine it probable that there might be an opening to the Northward.

In the afternoon of Sunday the 18th, there being little wind, and the weather fine, they were attended by several spermaceti whales. They were not more than twice the sloop's length from her, coming up on either side at times very near her; and remained playing about for more than two hours.

Their appearance was followed in the evening by a gale from the S.W. which reduced them to their storm sails, and compelled them to keep off and on during the night The wind, however, lowering the next day, and a Southerly current having been in their favour, Lieut. Flinders concluded his labours at dusk in the evening of the 20th; at which time he secured hid little vessel along side his Majesty's ship the Reliance in Port Jackson.

The observations which were made by Lieut. Flinders on the set of the current at different parts of the coast, being directly opposite to the remarks of Capt. Cook, it will only be doing justice to his great merit to state them. That great and able seaman, Capt. Cook, says, in his notice of the current on tins coast, "that it always ran with more force in shore than in the offing." Now in going to the Northward the Norfolk was kept as near in shore as circumstances would permit; but the whole sum of Southing produced in eight days, was 65 miles, almost the whole of which they lost off the Three Brothers and Smoky Cape. To counteract this, they had twenty-five miles of Northing, reducing the current to thirty miles in eight days, which could indeed hardly be called a current.

On the contrary, their average distance from shore when returning, was about twelve leagues off the land; and in running the same difference of latitude in twelve days the sum of the Southing was two hundred and eleven miles, and the Northing but one mile and a half. Out of this, thirty-four miles were gained in one day when their distance from shore was the greatest.

From this it appears, the current was strongest at the distance of five, and from thence to twenty or more leagues; and within that there was some set to the Northward. But Lieut. Flinders thought the Southerly current would prevail nearer to projecting points, at the times its strength was greatest, for in that respect it had been found to vary much.

Respecting the tides it was scarce necessary to say any thing; for, by a comparison of the times of high water at Bustard Bay and Port Jackson, it seemed the flood came from the Southward, and would therefore produce little or no set along the coast, either way, in the greatest part of that space. From Break Sea Spit, the coast trends to the Westward of North, which has a tendency to draw the flood from the S.E. and this was shown by Capt. Cook to be the case. Thus concluded the arduous voyage of Lieut. Flinders, whose great skill in exploring unknown coasts and harbours, has so evidently manifested itself in this excursion, promises fair to place him high in the list of British circum-navigators.

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[To add to the interest of this part of the narrative, we have here some particulars to introduce relative to the unfortunate Trench navigator La Perouse, who sailed from Brest in 1785, and who, as well as Lieut. Flinders, visited Van Diemen's Land.

An officer of the name of Edwards, belonging to the 8th regiment of light dragoons, which has been long on service in India, was proceeding to New South Wales in the Venus, in 1808, for the benefit of his health. When the vessel was off Van Diemen's Land, Lieutenant Edwards and some others landed for the purpose of amusing themselves, and seeing a little of the country. After walking about for sometime, some of the company perceived an inscription cut in the bark of a tree, the characters of which were nearly obliterated or filled up; the date, however, was legible, which, by a singular coincidence, proved to have been inscribed exactly that very day seventeen years. As the whole of the inscription, from the circumstances we have stated, could not be deciphered, the company returned on hoard, giving up all idea of further research. The extraordinary discovery having made a deeper impression on Mr. Edwards than it did on his fellow-passengers, he determined to make another attempt to decipher the inscription; for which purpose he went on shore the next morning, accompanied by some persons to whom he had imparted a portion of his Zealand curiosity. Their first proceeding was to clear away the bark from the tree, by which means they found that the impression on the body of the tree was so strong as to be legible. They ascertained from it that something of consequence was buried at the root of the tree.

Mr. Edwards immediately set to work with an iron instrument they had brought on shore, and, after digging for a short time, it came in contact with a glass bottle, and broke it, but fortunately the contents were not injured. Upon examination they were found to consist of four letters; two of which were addressed to persons at that time filling situations in the Government of France, and the other two to ladies. A paper also accompanied the letters, which were carefully sealed, requesting whoever should find them to forward them to their respective addresses. Mr. Edwards under these circumstances, as well as in observance of the sentiments which should animate an officer and a gentleman, did not feel himself warranted in opening the mysterious papers, but carried them in the state they were found to the Governor of New South Wales, at whose disposal he was anxious to place them. The Governor, however, considering Lieutenant Edwards as best entitled to the merit of the discovery, submitted to him the propriety of transmitting them himself to the British Government. This suggestion was adopted, and Mr. Edwards forwarded the letters unopened, with an account of the manner in which they were discovered, by the Dromedary storeship, to his father in London; who, in conformity with his son's request, put them into the hands of the Secretary of State for the Colonial Department.

That the letters contain some information relating to the fate of that very able and much lamented mariner Perouse is most probable; for the latest intelligence obtained of him was not far removed from the date of the inscription, when he was continuing his researches in the same quarter. These letters, it is presumed, were transmitted by our Government to France in the same state they were received.

A British officer, in confirming the above, lately made the following remarks:

"I saw La Boussole and L'Astrolabe, under the command of Monsieur De La Perouse, enter Botany Bay, and anchor there, on the 26th of January, 1788. On the 24th of February following, I breakfasted and dined with the Chevalier De La Perouse on board La Boussole. A few days after, three of the French officers crossed from Botany Bay to Port Jackson, where they dined, passed the day, and remained till next morning, as the guests of myself and some other British marine officers. On or about the 12th of March, 1788, La Perouse sailed from Botany Bay; and, as I believe, was never after heard of."]


FROM contemplating a narrative, replete with rational gratification to the mind, it is a pity to be obliged to resume a continuance of the catalogue of crimes with which iniquity seems ever ready to afford a super-abundance of materials.

The criminal courts being assembled on the 29th of August, one man, Job Williams, was convicted of a burglary; and several others were ordered to be transported to Norfolk Island. Williams afterwards received a pardon, as, some favourable circumstances were laid before the Governor.

Some difficulties were still placed in the way of the Commissary in preparing his accounts to be sent home, through the settlers, and other persons who had not come forward as directed, to sign the vouchers of sums paid for grain or pork delivered at the public stores, the Commissary was therefore ordered not to pay directly in future, but to issue government notes quarterly; when every person concerned would be obliged to attend, and give the proper receipts for such sums paid them. This was indeed a most valuable regulation, and some such preventive mode had been long wanted.

The convicts who arrived in the Hillsborough being mostly recovered from the disease and weakness with which they landed, additional strength was added to the public gangs, and the different works in hand went on with considerably more spirit than they had for some time. In addition to the battery which, under the direction of Lieut. Kent, had been constructed by the seamen of the Supply on the East point of the Cove, the work on Point Maskelyne had been completed with embrasures; and some guns were placed in a commanding situation above the wind-mill on the West side; and a work had been thrown up on Garden Island; therefore, in point of defence, the settlement wore a respectable aspect.

During the night of the 6th of September, the Resource, an American ship, arrived from Rhode Island, bound to China. Having refreshed her crew she sailed again on the 14th; but to the injury of other Americans who might hereafter visit the settlement, the master took several seamen away belonging to the king's ships. To recruit their numbers, and refresh those he had on board, were undoubtedly his motives for coming in; but such conduct deserving a representation to the American Minister, the Governor determined to make one.

On the 15th, the Buffalo sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, to fetch cattle for the colony. The Governor wished to send a cargo of coals by her to the Cape; but her repairs had taken up so much time, that to load her with that article would have procrastinated her departure too far into the season, to admit of her return within the summer months, which was absolutely requisite to preserve her cattle. This desirable object was therefore declined.

Dispatches were sent to England by this opportunity, containing among others, a requisition for those materials wanting to carry into effect the manufacture of woollens and linens, viz. a large quantity of reeds, hackles, tow, and wool cards, a quantity of log wood, red wood, copperas, and alum.

Shortly after the sailing of this ship, the Governor visited the wild cattle, for which purpose he left Paramatta the 24th of September, crossing the Nepean river next morning further to the Northward than before. In this direction he traversed with his party a new tract of country, perfectly beautiful and highly calculated for both cultivation and pasture.

Arriving at the Cow-pasture Plains, they met with a small herd of cattle about 20 in number, all extremely fierce, and had not some dogs been with the party, they would certainly have been attacked. The natives who accompanied the Governor, were alarmed so much, that they climbed up the trees, and left their friends to provide for their own safety. Several of the dogs having been set at the cattle, by some of the party, who did it, not thinking their situation perfectly safe, the animals dismayed at this unusual appearance went off with great expedition, all but a bull calf, which the dogs detained: the Governor however, directed him to be freed, on which a curious circumstance occurred. Three horses being with the party, the calf stuck close to them, running between their legs, and as he bellowed very loud there was every reason to fear the flock would return, and thereby danger the party; thus it was thought requisite to stop his cries by shooting him which was done instantly, and they regaled with infinite satisfaction on veal, a dish almost unknown in this country.

Quitting the Cow-pasture Plains, the Governor and his party re-crossed the river higher up, and were led four miles over a mountainous country, and then over a level space covered with fine grass, and very well watered.

On the return of the Governor and his party on the beginning of October, they found the Eliza whaler had come in from sea, wanting only thirty tons of oil to complete her cargo.

A great number of convicts and others who were the labouring servants of Government having absconded for the purpose of living by robbery, or escape in those ships ready to sail. An order was issued, that those concerned might not plead ignorant of the consequence and thus try to evade punishment, "that any officer or man belonging to the above ships, who should be known to have countenanced or assisted the convicts above alluded to in making their escape would be taken out of the ship, and punished with the utmost severity of the law; and as the most strict and scrupulous search would take take place on board, for every convict which should be found concealed, or suffered to remain on board without regular permission, so many of the ship's company should be taken out and detained for daring to encourage such escape. Such of the above public servants as might have taken to concealments on shore for the purpose of avoiding their work, or making their escape from the colony, if they did not return within a week to their respective stations, might, upon discovery, expect the most exemplary punishment; but they would be pardoned for the present attempt if they returned immediately."

Notwithstanding the Governor had found it requisite to publish this particularly strict order, the very day it appeared, on searching the Hillsborough then moving out of the Cove, several convicts were secreted on board, these however, were brought on shore, and all except one received severe corporal punishment. That one was forgiven on declaring who were the people that encouraged their concealment, and prepared hiding places for them. This he did and it proved to be two of the seamen, who were also directly brought on shore, punished and then drummed to the wharf, and returned to the ship from whence they came. The little effect of good orders, regulations, and punishments, were again fully shewn, and still more strongly confirmed by the following circumstance:

The Spanish ship a prize to the whalers had been bought by Mr. Hingston, late master of the Hillsborough, and two free men of the settlement, she had been named the Hunter, and was about making a voyage to Bengal, for the purpose of freighting back with goods for the colony. A female named Ann Holmes being found missing, while the Hunter was going out of the harbour, the Governor directed an armed boat to follow the ship, with constables to search her; and ordered if any persons were found on hoard without permission, to bring the ship again into port. Having found the woman, the ship was accordingly brought up the harbour and properly secured.

Many of her crew conducted themselves in an insolent and mutinous manner to an officer sent from the Reliance, having armed against the constables, and one of them presented a musquet at a chief constable, they were now secured, and ordered to be punished on board their own ship, after which they were turned on shore. But as the Governor thought something more than this requisite to be done; a criminal court assembled and the master of the ship was tried, charged with aiding a female convict to escape. The offence consisting of aiding a convict, thus it became requisite to prove the person found in his ship was a convict; but on referring to a list of the prisoners who arrived in the Royal Admiral, which ship Ann Holmes had been sent out in, to New South Wales, no term of transportation was found against her name. So the master was acquitted, it not being possible to prove that Holmes was then a convict. But the master was highly reprehensible for concealing any person in his ship, and must undoubtedly have felt himself in an awkward situation, in being brought before a court for the breach of an order issued but a short time to guard him and others against the very offence he had committed.

The Hillsborough, when searched, had no less than thirty convicts on board, against the orders, but these were without the knowledge of the officers, being secreted by the seamen. Soon after these transactions, both ships sailed on their voyages.

Though by the measures adopted, it was supposed none had escaped in the ships, yet many were still known to be in the woods. On the 15th a young ox was missed from the stock-yard at Toongabbe; with the hope of discovering the offenders, a notice was issued, holding out a conditional emancipation, and permission to become a settler, to any convict for life, who would come forward with the information necessary to convict the persons concerned; and an absolute emancipation, with permission to quit the colony, to any one transported only for a limited time; but nothing ever transpired that could lead to a discovery.

Wheat at this time getting low in the stores rendered it necessary to deduct two pounds from the twelve which were issued, an addition was made to the allowance of salt meat, eight pounds and a half of beef being issued instead of five, and five pounds of pork in the room of three. This was to continue until the new crops were gathered which wore at present a promising appearance, and the various misfortunes which had attended the exertions of the industrious, being, it was hoped at an end, the governor thought it to be his duty to fall to the original prices of grain, and of course directed the following should be given in future:

For wheat, per bushel,     —     8s.
The present barley, do.     —     6s.
Maize, do.     —     4s.

to commence on the 1st of January, 1800.

The Reliance sailed on the 2d of November, with a party of military to relieve those on duty at Norfolk Island; and the next day the ship Walker arrived from England, on board of which were Lieut. Colonel Paterson, and Capt Abbot, of the New South Wales corps.

The dispatches the Governor now received, directed a register to be kept of all ships entering in and clearing out of the harbour, in consequence of which he appointed Richard Atkins, Esq. the Judge-Advocate, to that service; and it now became an article in the port orders delivered to the masters of ships on their arrival, "that they were not upon any account to break bulk, or attempt to land any article whatever, until such time as an account of the ship, her commander, cargo, &c. had been laid before the Governor." It was at the same time ordered that no boat, or indeed any person, except the pilot and officer, sent by the Governor, and the person to fill up the register, should ever board a ship, entering the port, till the information required had been fully obtained.

The ordnance of the colony was increased on the arrival of the Walker by four iron twelve pounders, and intelligence was brought that copper coin, to the amount of 5501. was put on board the Porpoise, and might be daily expected. Money would in its circulation most certainly be attended with the greatest utility to all the inhabitants of the colony in their several dealings; and to prevent its being taken out of the colony it might be marked. If by the introduction of the coin, the lamentable and nearly never to be forgiven crime of forgery, mould be avoided, it would indeed be an event devoutly to be wished; but in all human probability, this crime, if expelled, would only introduce the more general crime of manufacturing counterfeit money, for among the many ingenious persons in the country it would certainly be attempted.

At the same time as the Walker, the Britannia arrived from her last cruize, having perfected her cargo of oil.

A general complaint being made by the inhabitants of Sydney concerning the quality of the bread delivered to them, the Governor ordered a meeting of officers for the investigation of it; it appeared the bakers received the wheat as issued, and engaged to give in return a quantity of bread; but, never having been confined as to quality, returned loaves composed of more chaff and bran than flour, which made the convicts very feelingly call them "scrubbing brushes". The bakers were heard, but proper directions were given to remove the evil, and prevent a repetition of it.

Lieut. Col. Paterson had, since he arrived, introduced some regulations in the corps of which he was sent out to take the command. As his Majesty had augmented the pay of the non-commissioned officers, drummers, and privates of the army, since the 25th day of May 1797, under certain regulations with respect to stoppages, this regiment was to receive the benefit of three-pence halfpenny per day, to be deducted, as a payment for the ration issued to them, and which the commissary was now directed to serve, agreeable to the ration established by command for such troops as were serving in Jamaica, Gibraltar, &c. &c.

Col. Paterson was also instructed to complete the companies of the corps, if he could obtain proper characters for the purpose, in consequence of which notice was given, informing those free people, who could bring with them satisfactory recommendations to the colonel, they would be received for the regiment.

The great pains formerly taken, to enforce a proper attention to the duties of religion, it might rationally have been thought, would have had a lasting effect; but the orders and regulations for the good government of New South Wales, like the Acts of Parliament of the mother country, were only observed at their first publication: again, therefore, was the Governor obliged to call on all in authority, to exert themselves in enforcing a proper observance of the sabbath, and they were particularly directed to urge the women to attend divine service, for the females had at all times thought it convenient not to imagine themselves included in those addressed by the public orders.

The crops of wheat, which at this time were ready for the reaper, wore a profitable and very promising appearance; the stalks of that at the Hawkesbury was bending with the weight of the corn. But in this, as in other countries, a crop could never with safety be reckoned, until gathered into the barn. On the 16th of November fell a heavy storm of thunder, lightning, and rain, with a shower of hail that knocked the greater part of the fruit off the trees, and cut up the gardens in the neighbourhood of Sydney; though at two miles from that place, it was not felt. On the 18th of November, a gale of wind and rain visited the Hawkesbury two days after the storm at Sydney, which beat down much of the wheat, and greater part of the public store. This tempestuous weather subsided for a day, and then recommenced and continued until the 25th, when it cleared up; and, to encrease the affliction, myriads of caterpillars were now destroying the young maize.

To obtain an absolute knowledge of what was the produce of the year's harvest, proper persons were appointed, by the Governor, to visit every district, and to obtain from the owners an account of what was produced on each farm.

The building the public gaol at Sydney was not yet completed, although a meeting of the officers had been held to consider of the means best to be devised for defraying the expense.

The Britannia whaler being now ready for sea, on the 2d of December sailed for England, by which opportunity Mr. Raven, who came with the Buffalo, and five of his officers took their passage; an agreement being made with the master, to furnish them with a passage for 250l. The Walker on the same day sailed on her fishing voyage.

The dissatisfaction manifested by the settlers, respecting the reduction of the price of grain which had been ordered by the Governor to take place, induced them to complain to his Excellency by petitions, in which they dated many hardships they laboured under, in the hope that he would receive the crops of this season at the higher price. Having considered the propriety of their petitions, he wished them to recollect, that four years since he had given notice, that the high price of grain could not be continued longer than that season: and though he had no doubt of their having had the losses they represented, and they must know he had used every means he could to remove or relieve them; yet his duty forced him to adhere to the reduction of which he had given notice, and at the same time observed, some of the misfortunes had proceeded from a want of attention to their own interest; many of them having sold their last bushel for the imprudent gratification of the moment, thus reducing their families to distress and even nakedness.

At the same time he informed them, he felt much pleasure in being able to communicate to them, that government intended to administer every relief, by supplying the inhabitants with both necessaries and comforts at a moderate price.

During the same day which the Britannia sailed, the Plumier, a Spanish ship, anchored in the cove; which ship was a prize to three whalers that captured her near Cape Corientes, on the coast of Peru. Her cargo principally consisted of spirits and wine, which being condemned by the Vice-admiralty Court as a lawful prize, were removed to the Supply, and an order was issued, to forbid the landing of spirits, wine, or malt liquor, till a regular permit was obtained, which restriction was extended to wine and malt liquor, as spirits were frequently landed as those articles.

The Commissary was now enabled to issue slop-cloathing to the convicts, as a quantity had been received by the Walker; but unfortunately, however, much put on board arrived in a damaged state.

On the 14th of December, the Martha schooner came in from Bass Strait; she brought 1000 seal-skins and 30 barrels of oil, which she had procured among the islands.

The criminal court assembled on the 16th, when two mates of the Walker were tried for using menaces to a person for stopping their boat when attempting to land spirits without a permit; but as he had no authority for making a seizure, they were acquitted.

One John Morris was convicted of forgery, and received sentence of death; but his fate being determined by the majority of one voice, this business must, as provided by the patent for establishing the court, be referred to the King in council. It was fortunate that such instances did not often occur; for the unfortunate criminal must languish for many months in so dreadful a state of uncertainty, that it is hard to say, if the thus created punishment by suspense, even though eventually the culprit was pardoned, did not exceed the instant punishment of death; and if, after a lapse of time, the pendant arm of justice inflicted the rigorous sentence of the law, the poor wretches state, must excite the commiseration of all hearts composed of any softer materials than iron.

The settlers in a body again represented their inability to bear a reduction in the price of wheat this season, not only in consequence of their former losses, but of the very high price of those necessaries of life requisite for paying their labourers: thus the Governor consented to receive the wheat only at the former price of 10s. per bushel, and they were then told the reduction would certainly take place the next season. His Excellency also allowed a quantity of wine and spirits to be landed, for the accommodation of those who had crops to secure, and thus prevent the impositions they must be subject to in procuring them from a petty dealer.

The Reliance and Francis returned on the 24th from Norfolk Island, with the relief of the military.

Before the morning of the 25th, the log gaol at Paramatta was set on fire, and shortly consumed. The prisoners confined there were with difficulty saved from the flames, and so scorched that one died in a few days.

The rewards formerly thought proper to be held out on other occasions, were offered to any one, who would give evidence to convict the incendiaries; and the inhabitants were again called on by that duty each owed to society, as well as by his own interest, to use every means to discover the perpetrators of such diabolical mischief, which in its extent, involved the lives of many, and the properties of every one.

It is by no means wonderful, that in a country inhabited by convicts there should be an antipathy to a gaol, so strong as to end in the destruction of those, composed of combustible materials, and though it might be thought, the criminals on the outside, would have had a little pity for those on the in, that was not found the case either at the burning the prison formerly or now, which shews too plainly the real state of depravity to which human nature can reach.

The harvest now beginning, constables were sent to the Hawkesbury to secure every vagrant they could meet with and bring them to Sydney, if they did not choose to work, as the settlers were willing to pay them a dollar per day, and give them their provisions; at this time there were many persons in that district, calling themselves free people, who refused to do any kind of labour unless paid the most exorbitant wages.

This evil indeed reigns too universally in all countries, for from this cause the farmer is evidently forced to charge more for his grain; thus the encrease of price rises still higher, till at length the very labourer, who is the first grand cause, complains of the price of that bread he needs for himself or family.

The following statement of the live-stock and ground in cultivation in New South Wales at this period, is highly satisfactory: viz.


39 Horses, 72 Mares, 188 Bulls and Oxen, 512 Cows, 3189 Hogs, 4721 Sheep, and 2583 Goats.


5465 Acres of Wheat, 2302 of Maize, 82 of Barley, and only 8 of Oats.

Thus it appears there was a great encrease of live-stock, except of horses. And a considerable addition had been made to the ground in cultivation.


[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[As a contrast to this, is the state of cultivation in the Colony in the latter end of the year 1809, very shortly before the author sailed for Europe.

Belonging to the crown, 100 acres in wheat.--Belonging to officers, 326½ acres of wheat, 178 acres of maize, 22½ acres of barley, 13 acres of oats, 1¾ acre of peas and beans, 19¼ acres of potatoes, 65 acres of orchard, and 6 acres of flax and hemp.—Belonging to settlers, 6460½ acres of wheat, 3211¼ acres of maize, 512 acres of barley, 79½ acres of oats, 98¾ acres of peas and beans, 281¾ acres of potatoes, 13 acres of turnips, 481¼ acres of garden and orchard, and 28½ acres of flax, hemp, and hops. Total, 6882 acres of wheat, 3319¼ acres of maize, 534½ acres of barley, 92½ acres of oats, 100½ acres of peas and beans, 301 acres of potatoes, 13 acres of turnips, 546¼ acres of orchard and garden, 34½ acres of flax, hemp, and hops.

The following is an accurate account of the live-stock: Belonging to the crown, 28 male horses, 19 female ditto, 21 bulls, 1791 cows, 1800 oxen, 395 male sheep, and 604 female ditto.—Belonging to officers, 81 male horses, 146 female ditto, 38 bulls, 1111 cows, 696 oxen, 2638 male sheep, 5298 female ditto, 40 male goats, 75 female ditto, 486 male pigs, and 537 female ditto.— Belonging to settlers, 258 male horses, 329 female ditto, 40 bulls, 1906 cows, 1172 oxen, 7449 male sheep, 15,327 female ditto, 799 male goats, 1670 female ditto, 7693 male pigs, and 7435 female ditto.—Belonging to persons not holding land, 44 male horses, 35 female ditto, 19 bulls, 307 cows, 103 oxen, 325 male sheep, 1222 female ditto, 97 male goats, 296 female ditto, l641 male pigs, and 1576 female ditto. Total of stock, 411 male horses, 519 female ditto, 118 bulls, 5115 cows, 3771 oxen, 10,807 male sheep, 22,451 female ditto, 936 male goats, 2039 female ditto, 9820 male pigs, and 9548 female ditto.]

That the encrease of live-stock and land in cultivation, should have for its growing accompaniment an encrease of crimes, can only be viewed with regret, and it is much to be lamented, that abilities so great, as those possessed by every officer in the settlement, had not more worthy subjects of his Majesty's to govern, and thus have them shewn to still greater advantage.

On the 3d of January, 1800, the Swallow, East-India packet, arrived on her voyage to China. She on anchoring saluted the fort, which was of course returned.

She had a variety of articles for sale, intended for the China market; but the master found it worth his while to display to the female inhabitants here various elegant articles of dress.

On the 11th the Minerva transport arrived from Ireland, with 162 male and 26 female convicts from that kingdom, all in perfect health, their treatment doing the highest credit to the master, the surgeon, and officers; only three had died during the passage. She was chartered for Bengal; and, as the season was early for her proceeding on that voyage, the Governor wishing to divide this description of people, would have sent her with them to Norfolk Island; but as no provision had been made for her proceeding to that place under the original charter-party, he did not think proper to give what the master demanded. And having been informed that another ship, the Friendship, had sailed from Ireland, he resolved to land the convicts and to avoid imposition wait her arrival.

As the Minerva had touched at Rio de Janeiro, she brought many articles for sale, from that port as well as from England, most of which were seriously wanted, but the prices were so immoderate as to drain all the money that could be procured.

The arrival of the Minerva, was accompanied with that of the Thynne, a snow from Bengal under Danish colours, chartered by the officers of the colony, through an agent they sent thither on purpose. She was laden on their account with articles they were much in want of.

The 18th a convict attempted to go alongside the Minerva, and still persisting, though repeatedly warned to keep off, was shot by the centinel, agreeable to his orders, and though tried was of course acquitted.

The natives having murdered two men who had farms at the Hawkesbury, a few of the settlers in the neighbourhood determined like the native savages of the country to revenge their death by retaliation. There were three native boys living with a settler named Powell, and two others. These innocent and unoffending lads selected as the object of their revenge by these white savages. Having told them, they thought they could find the guns of the white men, they were sent for that purpose, and soon brought them in. Powell and his companions now began to execute their infernal work of vengeance. For which purpose they drove them into a barn, and after tying their hands behind them, the cowardly miscreants stabbed them, till two died beneath their hands. The third made his escape, by jumping into the river, and though to assist him in swimming he could only make use of his feet, yet with this disadvantage, and the savage murderers of his companions firing constantly at him, he reached the opposite bank alive, and soon joined his own far more innocent people.

The governor, on being informed of this circumstance, with his usual goodness sent directly to the place, where the bodies of these poor victims were found buried in a garden, stabbed in several places, and their hands tied as described. Powell and the other murderers were taken into custody, and a court being assembled, they were tried for the wilful murder of the two native boys.

The evidence produced to the court perfectly established that the deceased had died by means of the prisoners; and the members of the court were unanimously of opinion that they were "guilty of killing two natives"; but instead of passing a sentence of death, a special reference was made to his Majesty's Minister, and the prisoners were admitted to bail.

By way of a defence the prisoners brought forward a cloud of witnesses to prove a number of white people had been killed by the natives; but most undoubtedly could these people have been properly understood, proofs had not been wanting, of the wanton and brutal manner in which by far too many of them had been expelled existence.

Doubts arising as to the light the natives were to be held, the court applied to the Governor for information, when he sent the court the orders from time to time given respecting them, and a copy of an article in his "Majesty's instructions to the Governor", which in very strong terms places them under the protection of the British government, and directs, that "if any of his subjects should wantonly destroy them, or give them unnecessary interruption in the exercise of their several occupations, they are to be brought to punishment according to the degree and nature of their offence."

But as in this instance, the court were divided in their sentiments, the whole business, with their doubts, was agreed to be submitted to his Majesty's Minister. Notwithstanding it was impossible to explain to the natives, or make them comprehend the nature of these doubts, it was naturally to be expected they would ill brook the return of the prisoners to their farms without receiving some punishment: an event wholly opposite to their ideas and customs; in fact they threatened most violently to burn the crops the first opportunity. In the hands of a body of justly irritated and hostile natives, fire might, with little trouble to them, ruin every prospect of the most abundant harvest; and by this threat, it appeared evident they were not ignorant of the power they possessed, thus it was essential to the comfort, security, and indeed existence of the settlers in particular, that they should live with them at least on amicable terms, On the 21st the Swallow sailed on her voyage to China.

On the 25th of this month, the Walker whaler came in, not having met with any success. She had spoke the Albion, which had unfortunately been equally unsuccessful.

The gaol at Sydney still wanting much of being compleated from the smalness of the sums raised to carry it on; and as it appeared that the officers had paid forty pounds each as an individual share of the expense, it became requisite that some means should be adopted to finish the building; and, as the price of wheat had, at the urgent request of the settlers, been for this season continued at ten shillings per bushel, it was thought proper to raise a sum for the purpose, by each leaving with the commissary sixpence, for every bushel of wheat taken to the store. This would undoubtedly be the least felt, and was intended to cease when a sum sufficient was collected.

There being now only five months' provision in the store at a full allowance, it was deemed necessary to issue only two thirds of the regular ration; and this deduction was to commence on the first of February. A small addition was made to that already in store, by seventy casks of salt provisions the master of the Minerva had for sale.

The Francis and the Norfolk brought round each a cargo of timber and plank for a vessel building at Sydney, and other purposes.

On the first of February the alteration in the ration took place. Col. Paterson brought out with him an arrangement of the military ration, which, as directed by his Majesty's regulation, consisted of the following daily allowance for each man:

Flour or bread,     —      lb.
Beef, or Pork     —     ½  lb.
Pease,     —     ¼  pint.
Butter, or Cheese,        —     1    oz.
Rice,     —     1    oz.

When the rice and pease could not be issued, 1½ lb. of bread or flour, and 1½ lb. of beef, or 10 oz. of pork, make a complete ration. The quantity of salt provisions at this time in store, not being able to suffer an exemption of the regiment from a reduction, they were informed that, till the store could afford to victual them agreeable to that regulation, they would receive the same as the civil department; but that no stoppages from their pay would take place on that account.

One of these people a well-disposed young man, fell a victim to an attachment he had formed with a most infamous woman; who, after plundering him of every thing he possessed, turned him out of her house, to make room for another. This treatment, though only what he might rationally have expected, he could not survive; and, placing the muzzle of his gun under his chin, drew the trigger with his foot, and, the contents going through his neck, he instantly expired. It is a melancholy fact that from similar causes, may be deduced the arrival of at least one half of the male convicts, which shews the high importance of young men avoiding those connections so repleat with evil.

The Betsey whaler arrived on the 13th, from the West coast of America with 350 barrels of oil. She was very leaky, and wanted much repair. At the same time the Hunter bark came from Calcutta, with a cargo on speculation; and the next day a Spanish brig captured by the whalers.

On the 16th arrived the Friendship transport from Ireland with convicts: last from the Cape of Good Hope, where the Buffalo was embarking cattle for the settlement. The convicts arrived in very good health, though they had been rather sickly previous to her reaching the Cape.

The generality of the convicts sent by this ship and the Minerva were but ill calculated to be of any advantage to the settlement, as little addition could be made by them to the strength of the labouring gangs. Many of them were bred up in genteel habits, and others to light professions, and of course unaccustomed to hard labour. These must become a drain on the store; for, notwithstanding the detestation for the crimes many of them were transported for, yet it was not possible for the Governor, consistent with his well-known feeling humanity, to send a Physician, the once Sheriff of a county, a Catholic priest, or a Protestant clergyman and family, to the brick-carts, brick-fields, grubbing hoe, or the timber carriage. The lower classes of convicts in these cargos were mostly old men, fit only for hut-keepers to remain at home and prevent robbery, while the other inhabitants of the hut were at labour: thus making good the old proverb, "set a thief to catch a thief".

A quantity of clothing being received by these ships, and as no bedding had been sent, the Governor bought a thousand bad rugs, manufactured in some of the Spanish settlements on the coast of America, and were on board the last prize. One of these, with a complete suit of clothing, were issued to each of the convicts.

Many of the settlers declining to come forward and assist with the small assessment of sixpence per bushel on wheat, which was intended to be taken toward the completion of the gaol, it was now thought requisite to adopt some other measure; and, as any article of luxury was conceived to be a fitter subject than any other for taxation, an order was issued, directing, that "on a permit being applied for to land spirits, wine, beer, or other strong drink from ships having those articles for sale", the person wishing for it must make application to the gentlemen of the committee appointed to carry on the building of the gaol, and security was to be given them for the payment of 1s. per gallon on the purchase of spirits, 6d. per gallon on the purchase of wine, and 3d. per gallon on the purchase of porter or strong beer: these sums, should the permits be granted, which rested on the character of the person, were to be paid to the committee, and appropriated to the above purpose.

Since the last arrivals from Ireland, a number of suspicious persons were continually strolling about Sydney at all hours of the night, several boats had been taken away, and property to a serious amount stolen out of houses; in order to put a stop to these practices, the centinels were directed not to suffer any person, the civil and military officers of the settlement excepted, to pass after ten o'clock at night, without giving the counter-sign; on failure of which the centinel was to detain them until the relief came round; when, if the corporal should not be satisfied with the account they gave, they were to be taken to the guard-house, and detained till enlarged by the magistrates. In addition to this, the constables were directed to be strict in their rounds, and apprehend all improper or suspicious persons they might meet in the town during the night.

In a few days after the issuing this order, several of the Irish prisoners assembled at a house, and making more noise than proper during the night, were taken up, and lodged in the gaol till the morning; when they were set at liberty with strong assurances of being punished if again taken up.

A new powder magazine was now began, the former being at too great a distance from the principal battery, and in a dangerously insecure situation. The foundation of the new one was dug in a better spot, and where it could be properly secured; which precaution was rendered necessary by the turbulent conduct of those convicts from Ireland.

The Reliance being so worn out, as to be no longer capable of doing any service to the colony it became necessary to give her those repairs which would enable her to reach England. She was therefore fitted for sea, and sailed on the 3d of March on her homeward-bound voyage.

The Martha returned from the Southward on the 6th of March, with a cargo of oil and seal skins. As the Nautilus had left some of her people on Cape Barren Island, they informed the master of the Martha, that the best time for seals among those islands was from November till May.

Many of the Irish convicts lately arrived were now afflicted with a dysenteric complaint, and several died.

It has already been seen how little good could be effected by granting indulgence to the people of this country, and now another instance occurred from a class of people who it could hardly have been expected from. The settlers on the banks of George's river had served in the marine detachment, and afterwards in the New South Wales' corps. By entreaties prevailed on the governor to grant them some live-stock, his Excellency furnished each with a ewe sheep, which they were no sooner possessed of than they sold. This reaching the Governor, lie ordered them to be seized, and returned to the flock of government.

Accounts of an alarming nature toward the latter end of the month arrived from George's river and the Hawkesbury. The weather had, for upwards of twenty days, been very wet, which was unfortunate, as the maize was now ripe, the wind blew a heavy gale, accompanied with so much rain that the river Hawkesbury, and all the creeks, rose beyond their banks, laying the flat country under water. The consequent damage followed the desolation which this flood spread over the cultivated grounds, and some lives were lost, though considering the extent of the flood they were few.

The prospect of a fine maize harvest was now at an end, and work of every kind was suspended, for the purpose of preparing the ground for a second crop of wheat. The settlement had not yet become so firmly established as to be enabled to withstand such a succession of ill-fortune without some assistance from the mother country. Had the settlers been more industrious, they must in some degree have been prepared for accidents of this nature; and it was to be lamented, that, when they were established on the banks of the Hawkesbury, attention had not been paid to the evident signs of the floods which the river appeared liable to, had the dwellings been built on higher ground, the inundations which had occurred could have done no injury. The late overflows had been such as exceeded in horror and destruction every thing that could be imagined.

To prepare with every expedition the ground for wheat, all persons were called on to give assistance; and, as a number of idle persons were wandering about the colony, who refused to labour unless paid exorbitant wages, these were again directed to be taken up, and, if found to prefer living by extortion or robbery, to working at a reasonable rate, they were to be made labour for the public.

The Walker went on the fishery; and the Martha snow sailed for Norfolk Island, with some articles for sale, the property of her owners during the latter part of this month.

On the first day of April, the criminal court of judicature met for the trial of offenders. Robberies had been very frequent, on household property as well as live-stock. Two men were convicted of robbery, and Mary Graham of forgery. Several were sentenced to have corporal punishment, and others were ordered to be transported to Norfolk Island. The Governor pardoned the woman and one of the men, leaving the other to his fate, and appointed the day for his execution; but the officers soliciting that his life might be spared, the Governor consented, directing that both the prisoners, yet unacquainted with the pardon to be granted them, should be taken to the place of execution with their coffins, and every appearance observed that could give solemnity to the scene, and impress on the minds of the spectators a proper awe. These directions being complied with, and the ropes put about their necks, the provost marshal produced the pardon and read it. One appeared much affected; but the other declared that he was never in his life so well prepared, and indeed he seemed hardly to desire a procrastination of death.

On the 14th the Hunter sailed for Norfolk Island, and on the 16th the Speedy whaler arrived from England, with fifty female convicts; and eight hundred and thirty-two casks of salt provisions, which enabled the Governor again to issue a full ration.

In this ship arrived Capt. Philip Gidley King, the lieutenant-governor of Norfolk Island.

In the evening of the same day, the Buffalo arrived from the Cape of Good Hope, having on board eighty-five cows and twenty breeding mares. This voyage was performed in seven months, the Buffalo having sailed from Port Jackson on the 15th of last September. She made her passage there in three months, arriving in Table Bay on the 16th of December.

The quantity of spirits at this time in the colony occasioned much intoxication and irregularity. The settlers at the Hawkesbury lost to their own interest neglected sowing their grounds: a circumstance which, but for the interference of the Governor, would have ended in their ruin. On hearing their situation, he forbade the sending more spirits to that profligate district of the colony, as well as the retailing what had been already sent, under pain of the offenders being prosecuted for disobedience of orders.

The Governor in the beginning of May received information from the officers, that they had some grounds for suspecting, that the convicts from Ireland had brought with them the principles which occasioned their being sent from that kingdom, and were holding seditious correspondences, and unlawful meetings; to discover whether there was any foundation for this, he called in the assistance of Lieut. Governor King, Colonel Paterson, Major Foveaux, and the magistrates; when it was determined to make a general search among the persons suspected in all parts of the colony at the same time, and to secure, and seal up their papers.

This examination took place on the 15th; but nothing was discovered that could furnish the smallest evidence of the imputed crimes.

The next day a convict, who had with great earnestness propagated a report that many pikes had been secretly made, and, to prevent detection, they had been sunk in a well-known part of the harbour; this fellow on being examined by the magistrates, confessed he knew nothing of what he had asserted, and said he was intoxicated at the time. For this he was severely punished, and it was doubtful if he had not chose to suffer rather than make known his confederates: thus perhaps imagined he proved his innocence to his accusers, and his truth to his rebel companions.

The secresy with which this business was conducted prevented the magistrates from making any discovery, and of course they succeeded in no degree on an examination of Harold, the before-mentioned Catholic priest, as being a party in seditious conversations; for nothing appeared to criminate him, though the fact was universally credited. The Governor judged it necessary, in consequence of these conjectures, to extract the heads of several acts against seditious correspondence or unlawful assemblies of the people, and altering them so as to suit the settlement, published them as a proclamation, that none might plead ignorance of the existence of such laws. This beside being made public in the usual manner, was read on Sunday the 24th, in church, after the performance of divine service.

The Friendship having sailed early in the month for Bengal, that opportunity was taken of sending dispatches to England, and to the Governor of India; who, by the Hunter, had sent a letter to the Governor, inclosing a list of persons from New South Wales who were then resident in Calcutta, and "desiring to be informed whether any of them had left the territory without having previously obtained permission for that purpose, or served the regular term of their transportation; in which latter case it was the intention of that government to return them to the colony by the first opportunity." On comparing the list with the books, there were found none of this description, and all were accounted for, except two or three whose names did not appear on the books; of course, if they had once been on them, their owners must now have used others. The number of persons that appeared at Calcutta was not more than fifteen; small however as that number was, the fear that such worthless characters should find their way into that government was strongly expressed. Indeed there was no community, but would view with horror the possibility of such persons mixing with them.

At the same time information transpired that some proposition had been made, and a correspondence entered into between the secretary of the Bengal government and the gentlemen employed as the private agent of the officers' respecting, sending Indian convicts to New South Wales. This was a measure, though open to no objection, it must of course be submitted to government before adopted, so the correspondence which had passed on this occasion was sent home. The proposition made by the government of Bengal was to victual and maintain their convicts for one year after landing; when they were to be supported by the settlement. As a description of people like these might be most usefully employed, and would be probably more manageable than those convicts from England and Ireland, it was hoped the plan might meet with approbation.

As many favourable ideas of the settlement had reached India; by the same conveyance three persons of respectability wrote to the Governor, stating their desire of embarking their families and property, and becoming settlers; but requiring a ship to be sent for the purpose of fetching them, and on their arrival to be granted the services of a certain number of convicts for some space of time, and a quantity of live-stock at the expense of the crown, his excellency knowing well the advantages the colony must derive from such persons residing in the country resolved on taking the first opportunity to send their proposals to England.

To depress the encouragement given to the vagrants infesting the country; it was ordered that any one wishing to travel from one part to another, should apply for a pass, in which his business was to be inserted; and all found without this were to be taken before a magistrate to answer for wilful disobedience of orders and regulations.

Several applications being made to get fresh pork received into the stores, the Commissary was directed to comply with the requests; but as there was every reason to imagine that the compliance would be attended with the destruction of breeding and young sows. It was ordered, that any person who should be known to offer meat of that description, to the store, that it should not only be refused to be received; but the owner was also to be informed against, as being in that case no longer deserving any encouragement or indulgence from the government he thus offended.

On the 26th of May the criminal court was assembled, at which six persons were capitally convicted, two of whom were for sheep stealing, and ordered for execution; the others received pardons on being transported for life to Norfolk Island.

The month of June opened with the execution of one of the prisoners for sheep-stealing. Who suffered on the 2d, and his companion on the 8th. At the moment of execution he gave information of a gang of villains he had long been connected with.

On the 8th the Hunter returned from Norfolk Island, and was directly re-chartered to take there an officer and some soldiers, some convicts and stores.

The Belle Sauvage, an American ship from Rhode Island, which anchored in Neutral Bay, to refit, and sailed on the 10th.

Robberies and sheep-stealing increasing as if in defiance of convictions and executions, it was thought necessary to pursue some steps to overcome this evil; and to effect which a proclamation was read in church on Sunday the 15th, previous to issuing a process of outlawry against these public depredators, whom all persons were commanded to assist in securing.

The effect of which proclamation was, that three men were taken up, and, being tried and found guilty of sheep-stealing, received that sentence of death they so justly merited.

The Hunter sailed on the 29th for Norfolk Island, having on board Major Foveaux of the New South Wales corps, who was proceeding to take the command of that settlement At the same time those prisoners under sentence of transportation were sent, and some soldiers, to the detachment of the regiment there.

The officers appointed for superintending the erection of the public gaol at Sydney, informed the Governor that several persons had not only neglected, but even resisted the payment of the assessments ordered to defray the expense of the building; in consequence of which it was ordered that they should be paid into the hands of the persons directed to collect them immediately, or, in case of a further refusal, such steps as necessary would instantly be put in force.

The prisoners left for execution last month suffered death, two at Sydney, on the 3d of this month, July, 1800, and the third at Paramatta on the 5th.

A muster being made during this month, of the inhabitants, attended by Lieut. Governor King, and other officers of the settlement, for the purpose of transmitting to England, the Buffalo, dropped down the harbour, to prepare for her voyage; it not being possible, without inflicting punishment, to keep the people to their duty on board, while lying even near that newly formed seat of temptation, Sydney.

Several gentlemen now prepared for their return to England, the Governor having granted permission for that purpose; in consequence of which, much live-stock was sold, and an addition made to that of the crown by the purchase of the large cattle.

The Martha, which had been sent to Hunter river for coals on her return, anchored during bad weather in the North of the harbour, and was, by the parting of her cable, driven on a reef of rocks, where her bottom was beat out; but by the assistance of the officers and crew of the Buffalo, she was got off, and, being floated with, casks, was brought to Sydney, and on examination her damages were found not to be so serious as expected.

The master stated that he had not been absolutely in the river, but in an inlet, five leagues Southward of the river, which had a small island at its entrance. He was conducted by the natives to a spot not far from the mouth, where he found abundance of coal.

Certificates were granted this month to many who had been their terms of transportation. To concentrate the strength of the New South Wales corps (which now became requisite from the turbulence of the Irish prisoners), the presence of an officer was thought necessary at the Hawkesbury. Mr. Grimes, the deputy surveyor, was in consequence appointed to take on him the office of a justice of the peace.

In the beginning of August, the Albion whaler went into Broken Bay, and completed her wood and water. She had obtained 600 barrels of oil; but owing to the badness of the weather, had not secured more than one-fourth of the whales they killed. The number of these fish which they saw was reported to be immense.

A most daring attempt was made, at three o'clock one afternoon, to land without a permit 1016 gallons of wine and spirits, which of course were taken possession of at the wharf by the centinel.

In absolute defiance of the repeated orders issued to enforce a decent attendance at divine service on Sunday, that day was still marked by nearly a total neglect of its duties. Another order was now given on the 25th, again pointing out the duties of the superintendants, constables, and overseers, as far as respected this particular needful attention, and at the same time assuring them that a further neglect on their parts, should be noticed by their dismission from their situations; thus, as their interest was made concerned, there could be much less doubt of their attending to this last order, more than to those which before left it that scarce article in this country, principal.

Intelligence was at this time brought to the settlement of the death of Wilson*. He had passed the major part of his life while in this country in the woods with the natives, and was, as mentioned before, very strongly suspected of instructing them where they could injure the settlers with effect and safety to themselves. However, on a proclamation from the Governor, he surrendered himself, and promised to amend, and as nothing but a determined love of idleness could be proved against him, he was forgiven; and supplied with a musquet and ammunition, for the purpose of accompanying those who made excursions into the woods, and at other times he went to shoot kangaroos and birds. The first bird of paradise ever seen in this country was shot by him; it was his usual custom to live on the flesh of those birds he killed, bringing with him their skins.

[* Vide Pages 138, &c. [Chapter V]]

Over the wood natives he had so great an influence as to enable him to persuade them that he had himself been a black man, and carried the joke on so far as absolutely to point, out an old woman as his mother, who poor soul was weak and credulous enough to own the rascal as her son. These natives who inhabit the woods are certainly not so keen as those who live upon the coast. The essential difference may be accounted for by their manner of living, as undoubtedly society contributes much to the exercise and enlargement of the mental faculties, Wilson presumed upon their mental inability; and, having imposed himself on them as their countryman, and inspired them with both fear and respect of his superior powers, he indulged himself in taking libertine liberties with their young females. Deficient as these poor savages were in reasoning faculties, he found to his cost they were susceptible of wrongs; for, having appropriated against her inclinations a female to his own accommodation, her friends took an opportunity, when he could not defend himself, to drive a spear through his body, and thus ended his career, and left them to expect his return at some future period in the shape of another white man.

It may be remembered in the former part of this work, that the natives of Port Stephens, entertained a similar idea, when four white men had been thrown among them; Wilson having heard this circumstance, availed himself of it in his visitations with the wood natives.

Some very serious rumours were circulated early in September, respecting the prisoners lately sent from Ireland for sedition, and being concerned in the late rebellion. It was asserted that they had formed a plan for gaining possession of the colony, that many pikes were in great forwardness; these reports caused the Governor to nominate a committee of officers to examine all suspected persons, and endeavour to ascertain if any such design existed.

In the routine of their inquiries, they found occasion to imprison Harold the Catholic priest, who both from his language and behaviour was suspected of being concerned in the intended attack on the Government. He confessed the reports were founded in truth, and undertook to discover the weapons concealed, of which it had been said several hundreds were made. He implicated several of his countrymen, and they on being questioned, accused several others; indeed, from what transpired on the examination, the committee thought them all deserving of punishment; Harold however was unable to fulfil his promise of producing the pikes. He first said they were buried in the ground of a settler, but on searching every part of it, no pikes could be found. He then said they were sunk in the harbour; but here neither could they be discovered. Thus failing he tried to persuade an Irishman, to make a few to produce in support of his assertion; but the man unfortunately for him had been transported for having already been a dealer in those articles, and declared he would not involve himself a second time on their account. He however did at length find a man to make something like one, from a large old hinge, this bore too strongly the marks of imposition to gain any credit. There was evidently a determination to create an alarm; Harold declaring that he only, as their priest, was able to come at the facts, was thought to be aiming at making himself of consequence in the new intended government. He had some time since applied to the Governor for liberty to act as their priest and most undoubtedly had he been well affected to the government, he might have been of use to the colony in that office.

In consequence of these circumstances and to counteract their effects, a number of the inhabitants were formed into two volunteer associations of fifty men each, and called the Sydney and Paramatta Loyal Associated Corps, each commanded by a Captain, two Lieutenants, and a proper number of non-commissioned officers. They were supplied with arms and ammunition from the stores, and were instructed in the use of them by the Serjeants of the New South Wales corps.

Coal having been found on the banks of George's river, the governor visited the place, and an examination discovered the existence of that fossil, of which, a vein was about the same time found on the west-side of Garden Island cove.

On the 21st of September, the John Jay, an American ship, arrived from Rhode Island, bound to China. She had on board for sale, a quantity of salt beef and pork, which was bought by government, at seven-pence three farthings per pound, for the purpose of issuing to those people off the stores, at the same price.

The Buffalo was now ready for sea, and as the governor had resolved to return in that ship to England, and had arranged all affairs, relative to the settlement, and the lieutenant-governor of Norfolk Island being on the spot, he left the direction of the colony to him, and embarked on Sunday the 28th of September, 1800, previously reviewing the New South Wales corps, of whom his Excellency took leave by issuing the following order:

"The governor, having this day reviewed that part of His Majesty's New South Wales corps doing duty at Sydney, cannot omit this opportunity of expressing the satisfaction he has received from their very handsome and military appearance, which does so much honour to Lieutenant Colonel Paterson, and the commissioned officers under his command. The expertness with which the various military motions were performed is highly to the credit of the whole body, and in which the non-commissioned officers have a very distinguished share. The governor cannot lose the present opportunity (as it may possibly be the last) of assuring the troops generally, that the confidence which he has long reposed in their promptitude upon every occasion that might require their particular exertion, has ever inclined him to consider with contempt the threatnings said to have been held out by a number of discontented and misled people: well satisfied that the active assistance of the New South Wales corps, added to those precautions and exertions which have, and he trusts, will continue to distinguish the civil power, will ever be found a complete security for the peace and tranquillity of this settlement, and of His Majesty's government in this remote part of the British dominions."

His Excellency's embarkation was attended with every mark of respect and regret. The road to the wharf was lined with troops, and he was accompanied by the officers of the civil and military departments with a concourse of inhabitants; who shewed by their deportment the high sense they entertained of the regard he had ever paid to their interests, and the justice and humanity of his government.

When governor Hunter departed from the colony, he left the following live-stock and ground in cultivation:


60 Horses, 143 Mares, 332 Bulls and Oxen, 712 Cows, 4017 Hogs, 2031 Male, and 4093 Female Sheep, with 725 Male, and 1455 Female Goats.


4665 Acres of Wheat, 2930 Acres of Maize, and 82 Acres of Barley, exclusive of garden ground, with Potatoes and other Vegetables.

The land in cultivation this year, was considerably less than the preceding, in consequence of the increased poverty of the settlers, which arose not only from their own imprudence, but the very high price which every thing cost they had occasion to buy, as well as the great wages they were obliged to pay for labour.

To amend the latter inconvenience, it was only requisite to wait an increase of the numbers in the colony, when the price of labour would find its proper level, and the high demands made for articles wanted, the government of the mother country, was now kindly taking means to overcome, by sending them out for the purpose of being retailed to the settlers at a moderate rate, and thus by an ample supply, prevent the growing evil of monopoly.

On the 21st of October, the Buffalo sailed for England, and the Governor intended to touch at Norfolk Island, to learn from observation, the state of that settlement, as some of the Irish prisoners, suspected of laying plans of insurrection, were taken in the Buffalo, to be landed there. As the last information from which place More an unpromising aspect, the buildings were in a state of decay, and few symptoms of industry were visible. Of live-stock, only a few hogs and a few vegetables were to be procured. At Phillip Island, on which had been fed a great number of hogs, not one was alive, they having, for want of food, absolutely destroyed each other. A few acres of wheat were ready for reaping; but on the whole, Norfolk Island did not promise to repay the expense it cost.

On board of the Buffalo were taken two black swans, and three New South Wales emus. Lieutenant Kent who returned to England in the Buffalo, previous to his departure, sold an elegant house he had built at a great expense, which was bought to convert into an orphan school, and speedily inhabited by them.

How highly honourable it was to the promoters of so laudable an institution! for certainly, in no country under heaven, could such an establishment be more wanting, as nearly every child might be esteemed an orphan, for, generally speaking, their parents did not deserve the name of fathers or mothers even while alive.

The following is an account of ground granted and let on lease by the several governors, from the date of the first, the 22d of February 1792, to the 25th Sept. 1800.

Districts where granted.     By Gov.
By Lieut.  
  Gov. Grose. 
  By Lieut. C. 
  By Gov.
————————— —— —— —— ——
Paramatta, 460 845 100 741
Toongabbe, —  420 160 4,734
Sydney, —  349 80 40
The Northern Farms, 370 80 125 150
The Ponds, 660 200 20 80
Prospect Hill, 810 275 —  835
The Eastern Farms, 450 170 190 1,516
The Field of Mars, 590 905 760 1,420
Mulgrave Place, —  2,040 2,475 6,820
Liberty Plains, —  530 100 830
Concord, —  710 325 140
York Place, —  —  50 310
Bu-la-nam-ing, —  565 30 1,516
Petersham Hill, —  2,140 410 2,015
Hunter's Hill, —  850 —  74
Port Jackson Harbour, —  390 140 195
Banks Town, —  —  —  3,247
Dundas District, —  —  —  700
Norfolk Island, 49 205 —  3,267
————————— —— —— —— ——
Total granted by each, 3,389 10,674 4,965 28,650
————————— —— —— —— ——
The Districts in which
they were leased.
By Gov.
By Lieut.  
  Gov. Grose 
  By Lieut. C. 
  By Gov.
————————— —— —— —— ——
At the township of Sydney 30 27 2 43¼
—————— Paramatta, —  —  —  47
—————— Toongabbe, —  —  —  30
At Mulgrave Place, —  —  —  12
At Norfolk Island, —  —  —  265
————————— —— —— —— ——
Total leased by each. 30 27 2 397¼

The following is a list of the various vessels which arrived only in the harbour of Port Jackson, from January 1788 only to the close of the century, with their names, dates of arrivals, from whence they came, and their cargoes, as mentioned in the course of the work; which now collectively brought together, places the country in a respectable view, and shews it capable of affording comfort and relief to many in need of refreshment, and a market worthy attention for the sale of nearly all cargos that can be sent.

  Names of Ships.     Date of Arrival.     Whence.    Cargo.  
————————— ——————— ————— —————
{His Majesty's armed
{ tender, Supply,
25th Jan. 1788 England
H.M. ship Sirius, 26th
Alexander, transport,     26th   Convicts
Scarborough, 26th
Charlotte, 26th
Lady Penrhyn, 26th
Friendship, 26th
Prince of Wales, 26th
Fishburn, store-ship, 26th Provis. &c.
Golden Grove, 26th
Borrowdale, 26th
H.M. ship Sirius, 6th May 1789 {C. of G.
{  Hope
Lady Juliana, trans. 3d June 1790 England Convicts
Justinian, store-ship 20th Provis. &c.
Surprise, transport, 26th Convicts
Neptune, 28th
Scarborough, 28th
H.M. a. t. Supply, 19th Sept. Provisions
{ Dutch store-ship,
17th Dec.
Mary Ann, transport, 9th July 1791 Convicts
Matilda, 1st August
Atlantic, 20th
Salamander, 21st
William and Ann, 28th
H.M.S. Gorgon, 21st Sept. Stores provi.
Active, transport, 26th England Convicts
Queen, 26th Ireland
Albemarle, 13th Oct. England
Britannia, 14th Oct. England
Admiral Barrington, 16th
Pitt, 14th Feb. 1792
Atlantic, store-ship, 20th June Bengal Provisions
Britannia, 26th July England
Royal Admiral, 7th Oct. Convicts
Philadelphia, brig, Am   1st Nov. Philadelphia   Speculation
Kitty, transport, 18th England Convicts
Hope, American, Dec. Rhode Island   Speculation
Chesterfield, whaler, C of G. H. To repair
Bellona, transport, 15th Jan. 1793 England Convicts
Shah Hormuzear, 24th Feb. Speculation
El Descuvierta, {Spa.
L'Atrevida,        {Cor.
12th Mar. Manilla To refresh
Dædalus, store-ship, 20th April N.W.C. of A. Provis. &c.
Britannia, June C of G. H. Cat. pri. pro.
Boddingtons, trans. 7th August Ireland Convicts
Sugar-cane, 17th Sept.
Fairy, American, 29th Oct. Boston To refresh
William, store-ship, 20th Mar. 1794 England Provisions
Arthur, 10th Bengal Speculation
Dædalus, store-ship, 3d April N. W. Am. Provisions
Indispensable, 14th May England
Britannia, 3d June Batavia
Speedy, 8th England
Halcyon, American, 14th Rhode Island Speculation
Hope, American, 5th July
Fancy, 9th Bombay Provisions
Resolution, store-ship, 10th Sept. England
Salamander, 11th
Mercury, American, 17th Oct. Rhode Island
Surprise, transport, 25th England Convicts
Experiment, 24th Dec. Bengal Speculation
Britannia, 4th Mar. 1795 C. of G. H. Stock for offi.
Endeavour, store-ship, 31st May Bombay Cattle
H.M.S. Providence, 26th August England
{H.M.S. Reliance,
{H.M.S. Supply,
7th September England Stores
Young William, st. sh. 4th October
Sovereign, 5th November
Arthur, 1st Jan. 1796 Bengal Speculation
Ceres, store-ship, 23d England Provisions
Experiment, 24th Bengal Speculation
Otter, American, 24th Boston To refresh
Marq. Cornwallis, tr. 11th February Ireland Convicts
Abigail, American,    February Rhode Island Speculation
Assistance, 17th March Dusky Bay
Susan, American, 19th April Rhode Island Speculation
Indispensable, trans. 30th England Convicts
Britannia, store-ship, 11th May Calcutta Provisions
Grand Turk, Am. 23 August Boston Speculation
Prince of Wales, st. sh. 2d November England
Sylph, 17th
Mercury, American, 11th Jan. 1797 Manilla To refit
H.M.S. Supply, 16th May C. of G. H. Cattle
Britannia, transport 27th Ireland Provisions
Ganges, 2d June
H.M.S. Reliance, 26th C. of G. H. Cattle
Deptford, 20th Sept. Madras Speculation
Nautilus, 14th May 1798 Otaheite Missionaries
Barwell, transport, 18th England Convicts
Hunter, 10th June Bengal Speculation
Cornwall, whaler, 2d July C. of G. H. To refit
Eliza, 4th
Argo, American sch. 7th Mauritius Speculation
Sally, whaler, 8th July C. of G. H. To refit
Britannia, transport, 18th England Convicts
Pomana, whaler, 20th August C. of G. H. To refit
Diana, 20th
Semiramis, American, 1st October Rhode Island
Marq. Cornwallis st. sh. 27th C. of G. H. Cattle
Indispensable, whaler, 27th To refit
Rebecca, American, 5th Mar. 1799 Speculation
{Nostra Senora de
{ Bethlehem, prize,
24th April Cape Blanco Various art.
H.M.S. Buffalo, 26th C. of G. H. Cattle
Albion, store-ship, 29th June England Provisions
Hillsborough, trans. 26th July Convicts
Resource, American, 6th September Rhode Island To refit
Walker, store-ship, 3d November England Provisions
El Plumier, prize, 2d December C. Corientes Various art.
Thynne, 11th Feb. 1800 Bengal Speculation
Betsey, whaler, 13th America To refit
Friendship, transport, 15th England Convicts
Speedy, transport, 15th April Ireland
H.M.S. Buffalo, 15th C. of G. H. Cattle
Bell[e] Sa[u]vage, American   7th June Rhode Island To refit
H.M.S. Porpoise, 7th Nov. England Conv. and st.
Royal Admiral, 22d Nov. England

During the government of Governor Hunter, the following list of works were executed by the working gangs; and those public works previous to his arrival, are found mentioned in the history at various times.

A second strong wind-mill tower was erected at Sydney, 36 feet in height.

At Sydney a granary, 72 feet in length, and 21 in width, with two floors, was built from the ruins of a mill house, formerly erected with great labour and expense by Lieut. Governor Grose.

The public roads made good and repaired at various times, and bridges thrown over the gullies.

A framed bridge built over Duck river, capable of bearing any weight.

Two log granaries, 100 feet long, one for wheat and the other for maize, erected at the Hawkesbury on the Green-hills, and inclosed with paling.

A similar one at Paramatta, 100 feet in length, and paled round with a strong high fence, like that at Sydney, which was also like that, destroyed by fire.

A suite of rooms built of brick at Sydney, between the hospitals and dwelling-house of the surgeon, for the use of his assistants; the huts originally built for them, having gone to decay.

The huts at Paramatta, built by Governor Phillip for the reception of convicts on their arrival, having been neglected and which had fallen to ruin, were repaired and made fit for the use designed.

A wind-mill with a stone tower, built on the hill above Sydney.

A double logged gaol, 80 feet long, with separate cells for prisoners, was built at Sydney, which was afterwards burnt.

Eight embrasures to the battery on point Maskelyne, were made, and a redoubt raised with eight embrasures on the point of the cove, and mounted with cannon. And two guns were mounted on Garden Island.

An apartment containing three rooms of brick, was built in the yard of the old gaol, before it was burnt, for debtors.

A barn 90 feet long, was built at Toongabbe, in which nine pair of threshers could work. The original one built by Governor Phillip having fallen down.

Both government houses, the military barracks, officers' dwellings, store-houses and granaries, and all public buildings repaired, coated with lime and white-washed, to preserve them from decay.

A brick building 100 feet long, built by Governor Phillip at Paramatta, was repaired, and two floors laid; with an addition to its length of 60 feet, for the purpose of a granary for wheat; there being no building entirely for this use in the colony.

A framed and weather-boarded house was built on the Green-hills at the Hawkesbury, for the commanding officer of that district. It was shingled, and had a cellar, a kitchen, and other accommodations, and paled round.

A weather-boarded store-house, with two wings built at Sydney, which was on the burning of the church converted into a place of worship, till a new church was erected.

At Sydney an excellent brick granary was erected, 100 feet long and 22 wide, with three floors. An addition, was afterwards made to this building of about 70 feet, for a kiln to dry the grain.

At Paramatta a weather-boarded granary, 140 feet in length, was built for the reception of maize.

A complete smith's shop for forges, was built at Sydney.

A range of barracks at Sydney were built for three officers.

The foundation of a church was began at Sydney, of a large size.

A handsome church was erected at Paramatta, 100 feet in length and 44 in width, with a room 20 feet long, raised on stone pillars, for a vestry or council room.

A tower steeple was built at the same place for a town clock.

A naval yard was paled in on the west side of the cove, and within it a joiner's and a blacksmith's shop, with sheds for the vessels repairing, and the workmen, were erected; with a steamer, a storehouse, a warder's lodge, and an apartment for the clerk.

A neat thatched hut was built in the government garden at Paramatta, for the gardener.

A handsome and commodious stone gaol at Sydney; with separate apartments for debtors, and six strong cells for condemned felons.

A commodious stone-house was built near the naval yard for the master boat-builder.

A large and elegant government house was erected at Paramatta, the first being too small, and so gone to decay that the roof fell in. The new building is spacious and roomy, with cellars and an attic story.

A new powder magazine was began, a frame was raised, and the roof thatched of an open barn at the Ninety Acres, and a threshing floor was laid.

A new dispensary was built, and the pannelled hospital removed and rose on a stone foundation, and at the same time was erected a new hospital store.

Fenced the military barracks with high paling.

Enlarged by a scalene building the whole length of each house, the dwellings of the principal surgeon, the senior assistant-surgeon, and the deputy-surveyor, by which an additional accommodation of two rooms were given to each house.

Paled in a cooperage adjoining the provision store at Sydney. Cleansed from filth the public tanks, and encompassed them and the spring-head with paling.

A military hospital and dispensary, and an officer's guard-room, were built at Sydney.

Sheds for the boats belonging to government when hauled on shore were also built.

Laid a new foundation, rebuilt a part of the walls, and repaired the wet provision store at Paramatta.

Houses were erected near the hospital at Sydney, for the nurses and attendants.

Repaired, plastered, white-washed, and coated with lime, a house for a school at Sydney.

Several stock yards for cattle were inclosed, and many old sheds were repaired at Paramatta, Toongabbe, and Portland-place. In the latter district, the timber of 120 acres was cut down, and nearly half (that of 50 acres) burnt off, a township marked out, and some few huts built, and a number of inferior buildings.

Exclusive of erecting and repairing the foregoing public works, detachments were daily employed in preserving the various buildings, the property of the crown, particularly those occupied by that class subordinate to the commissioned officers; and, as these repairs were necessary to prevent those buildings going to decay, they had been paid every attention to by Governor Hunter.

The inclosures of the park and burial ground having suffered by decay, a gang of carpenters and labourers were for a considerable time employed in preparing railing, and putting them up.

The Judge-Advocate's house at Sydney was enlarged and repaired, with several alterations, and out-houses.

The strength of the public gangs did not permit their being further employed, or it was meant to have built a water-mill at Paramatta.

A court-house at the same place, and two new stores, with a guard-house at the Green Hills. The stores were of brick, and the guard-house of weather boards.

In the district of Portland Place, a stock-yard, consisting of 30 acres, was inclosed with posts and rails, and included four chains of fresh-water ponds.

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[Since this period a large range of storehouses are completed on the banks of the Paramatta river, and another had been commenced close by the wharf at Sydney. The necessity of some new buildings of this description had been evident for some time, as a chief part of the king's storehouses previously erected were too remote from the water side, which made the unlading of ships extremely burthensome and expensive. These inconveniences are now completely remedied, and the port rendered more commodious than ever. Some short time also before he left the settlement, two murders were committed by men named Brown, and Kenny; the former of whom had killed many men at the Southward, and was brought from thence to Port Jackson, for trial, where he was convicted, executed, and subsequently hung in chains on Pinch-gut, a small island in the centre of the harbour leading to Sydney Cove. The latter was arraigned for the murder of a woman named Smith, who, after he had perpetrated the deed, endeavoured to consume the body of his victim, by thrusting it in the fire. Pie was executed and hung in chains at Paramatta.

It further appears that our spring is the autumn of the year in that distant quarter.

The destruction of the playhouse is mentioned as a benefit to this infant colony, because, "when the inhabitants were engaged in this enjoyment, their property was left unwatched. It was also a common practice to give provisions to obtain entrance, if money was scarce; and thus many of the convicts were unable to pursue their labour with proper energy and activity. Other abuses, which also resulted from the establishment of the theatre, induced the Governor to recall the permission given for the performances, and the playhouse was soon after levelled with the ground.

Since this period, cricket; cards, water-parties, shooting, fishing, and hunting the kangaroo, have been more attended to. The officers have a private subscription billiard room; but still, among the convicts gaming is carried on to a deplorable degree.

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

The Rocks, a part of the town of Sydney, is the general promenade for the dashing Belles of the settlement; and the European women, it is observed, spare no expence in ornamenting their persons. The shops, where most of their decorations are purchased, are set out with much taste; and articles of female ornament and apparel are greedily purchased. By a very recent census, there were nine thousand three hundred and fifty six inhabitants, in the settlement, out of which six thousand support themselves.]

In the naval department, a vessel was left on the stocks, designed to be of 150 or 160 tons burthen, and intended for the purpose of taking the relief to and from Norfolk Island.

A boat called the Cumberland was on the stocks, and nearly finished, of 27 tons burthen, meant to be schooner rigged and armed, for the pursuit of deserters, who were in the practice of carrying away the boats of the settlement.

In this account of the labour performed for the public, under Governor Hunter, is not estimated the time employed for the preparation of the earth for sowing, and the gathering in of the harvests; so that it must indeed be considered, with no small degree of astonishment, that such a number of buildings should have, by any exertions, been effected, when proper allowance is made for the dispositions of those, who only could be employed in either building or repairing, and when added to the deduction, which threshing out the corn for delivery, and unloading the store-ships as they arrived, a proper allowance of time is made; it proves that Governor Hunter effected the most with the comparatively little labour he could induce the convicts to perform.

Shortly after the departure of Governor Hunter, it appeared on an investigation of the registers of the terms of transportation of the convicts, that the clerks, who had been suffered to have access to them, had altered the sentences of nearly two hundred prisoners, on receiving a sum from each equal in value to ten or twelve pounds; and proper steps to guard against so truly serious an evil in future, were taken at the colony, and proper information sent to England on the subject.

It now appeared the expenses attending the erecting of the county gaol, had cost the sum of 3954l. the greater part of which had been paid by public assessments.

Every encouragement being given for the purpose of promoting the growth of wool, for manufacturing 300 yards of blanketing were made from what the wool produced last season, from the flocks belonging to government and individuals; and in five months, 470 yards of flax were made into linen.

The never-resting spirit of Speculation which continually manifested itself in the arrival of ships, received a serious check by the Governor's sending back three vessels from Bengal, on board which were fifty-four thousand gallons of spirits and wine.

The quantity of copper coin expected having arrived, the Governor published a table of the specie legally in circulation in the colony, affixing the rates to each, at which they were to be considered a legal tender in all payments, viz.


A guinea    L. 1 2   0
A johannes 4 0   0
A half ditto 2 0   0
A ducat 0 9   6
A gold mohur 1  17   6
A pagoda 0 8   0
A Spanish dollar 0 5   0
A rupee 0 2   6
A Dutch guilder 0 2   0
An English shilling 0 1   1
A copper coin of 1 oz.    0 0   2
A ditto of ½ oz. 0 0   1
A ditto of ¼ oz. 0 0  

And as the supply of copper was sent for the convenience of persons wanting to make small payments, no sum exceeding 5l. was to be esteemed a legal tender of this money; and it was declared, that exporting or importing* of any sum of the copper coin exceeding 5l. should be punished by a fine of treble the value of the sum so exported or imported, and the forfeiture of the sum in question.

[* Except by government.]

Ships arrived from India, England, and America, bringing on speculation cargos of wine, spirits, tobacco, teas, sugar, hardware, wearing apparel, &c. and were publicly sold.

By these ships had been imported 59,294 gallons of spirits, 30,896 ditto of wines, out of which were landed 26,974 ditto of spirits, 8,896 ditto of wines; and 32,320 ditto of spirits, 22,000 ditto of wines, were sent away.

By information from Norfolk Island intelligence was received, that a plot was fortunately discovered, on the 14th of December 1800, formed by some of the convicts to murder the officers, and, by getting possession of the island, to liberate themselves. Two of the ringleaders were immediately executed, and others properly punished.

Major Foveaux, the lieutenant-governor, had found the truly desirable long wanted and unknown acquisition, a good landing-place for boats and small vessels, in Anson's Bay, where there were four and five fathoms of water only a few yards from the shore, with a fine sandy beach, and a free passage from rocks or shoals.

Having at length brought down the History of New South Wales in regular progression, to the close of the eighteenth century, I shall here desist from following the routine of the regular relation of events, and leave the country in its settled state, and I shall now proceed to the Natural History of the Island; that done, I shall, in a concluding Chapter, give a continuance of the History, from the beginning of the year 1801, till the time I forwarded the manuscript to England.


[Natural History]

LITTLE versed in studying the divine works of Nature, I have availed myself of the labours, of my predecessors, and accompany their researches with my own observations on the various subjects; and as I have been assisted with natural historical information from the same high and distinguished characters who have generously favoured me with Colonial historical facts, I shall give undoubtedly a faithful account of the Natural History of New South Wales in its various departments, as far as yet discovered, and, as Pope very justly observes, that

"Want of decency is want of sense."

I shall by no means introduce any description that can offend the most delicate mind, or shall I intrude on my readers any account of those productions which seem the inhabitants of nearly all countries, such as the rat, the bat, the squirrel, &c. &c. meaning only to describe those which seem to be more particularly the natives of this country, and were not generally known previous to the establishment of the colony.



THIS animal, which has obtained the name of Ornithorhynchus Paradoxus, is still very little known. It is found only to inhabit fresh-water lakes in the interior parts of the country. It swims not on the surface of the water, but comes up to breathe, in the same manner as the turtle. The natives often sit on the banks, with spears and watch their rising to the surface, till they get a good opportunity of striking them, which they do with their usual dexterity, and frequently succeed in catching them.

Governor Hunter once saw a native watching one above an hour before he threw his spear at it; but at length he drove it through the neck and fore leg, and when he brought it on shore, it used its claws with such force, that it became requisite to confine it between two pieces of board, while they cut off the barbs of the spear, to disengage it. When freed, it ran on the ground with as great activity as a land tortoise, which was much faster than the structure of its fore feet seemed to promise. It inhabits the banks of lakes, and feeds in the muddy places which surrounds them; but its food is unknown.

The male is 17¼ inches in length, from the point of the bill to the extremity of the tail. The bill is 2¼ inches long; and the end of the tail 4½ inches.

The animal's body is compressed, and of the same general thickness, except over the shoulders, where it is smaller. The circumference of the body is 11 inches.

In size, the female is rendered rather larger than the male, by a portion of fat lying very generally under the skin, which the male is without.

The colour of the male is a very dark brown, on the back, legs, bill, and tail; the under part of the neck and belly is of a silver grey.

The hair is of two kinds; a very fine thick fur, one half an inch long, and a curious kind of hair, nearly an inch long. The part nearest the root has the appearance of hair; but for a quarter of an inch towards the point it becomes flat, resembling feathers: this has a gloss on it. The fur or hair on the back is shorter than that on the belly.

No appearance could be observed of nipples; although the skin on the belly of the female was examined with the greatest accuracy.

The head is compressed. The bill, projects beyond the mouth, and in its appearance resembles that of a duck; but is in fact more like that of the spoonbill, the middle part being composed of bone, as in that bird: it has a very strong covering.

The nostrils are close to each other, near the end of the bill; and the upper lip projects three quarters of an inch beyond them.

The eyes are small; situated more on the upper part of the head than usual, and are behind the loose edge of the flap belonging to the bill. The eyelids are concealed in the hair, and, in the male, are scarcely seen; but the female has a tuft of lighter hair, which marks their situation.

The ears are two large slits, behind the eyes, and larger than the orifices of the eyelids.

The teeth are all grinders; and are four in number, one on each side of the upper and under jaw, and have broad flat crowns. They differ from common teeth materially, having neither enamel nor bone, being composed of a horny substance only, connected by an irregular surface in the place of fangs. When cut through which is readily done, the internal structure is like the human nail.

Between the cheek and the jaw, on each side of the mouth, there is a pouch, as in the monkey tribe. When laid open, it is 1¼ inch long, and the same in breadth. In the female it contains a substance, the size of a small nut, in each pouch.

Besides these teeth, there are two small pointed horny teeth upon the projecting part of the posterior portion of the tongue, the points of which are directed forwards, to prevent the food being pushed into the fauces during the process of mastication; which circumstance is peculiar to this animal.

The fore legs are short, and the feet webbed. Each foot has five toes, united by the web, which is very broad, and is continued beyond the points of the toes nearly an inch. On each toe there is a rounded straight nail, which lies loose upon the membrane forming the web.

The hind legs are nearly of the same length as the forelegs, but stronger. Each foot has five toes with claws, and webbed.

The male, on the heel, has a strong crooked spur, with a sharp point, which has a joint between it and the foot, and is capable of motion in two directions. When the point of it is brought close to the leg, the spur is concealed in the hair; when directed outwards, it projects considerably, and is conspicuous. The tail in shape is like that of the beaver.


Is the size of a rat, though its formation gives it the appearance of the martin cat, but that its body, compared to its size, is not so long.

The head, which is broad from side to side, is in front flat; the nose, which is pointed, projects beyond the teeth; the eyes are large; the ears broad and end in points. The nature and colour of its hair resembles that of the rat, and it has wiskers from the nose to the eyes; the hind feet are longer, and more flexible than the fore. On each foot there are five toes, and of those on the fore feet, the middle toe is the largest, the rest fall off progressively; the nails are short and sharp; on the sole of the foot there is no hair; the tail is long, and covered with hair of a mixed grey colour.


Is only a variety of the Tapoa Tapha, and that in its external appearance, being covered with black and white markings of various shapes.


THIS animal in size resembles the racoon; the colour, which is grey on the back, becomes lighter on the sides, and changes to a rich brown on the belly; the hair is of two sorts, long hair, and a kind of fur. The Wha Tapoau Roo has a very short head, with prominent eyes and broad ears. Its tail is long, and covered with hair, except the under part towards the end. On the fore feet are five toes, the shortest of which appears like a thumb; the hind feet resemble those of the monkey, having no nail on the great toe, and being bare on the sole.

A Native Dog


THE native dog of New South Wales resembles very much the foundation of the species, which is the Wolf, though it is considerably smaller, and stands lower; but from its ill-nature and viciousness, which indeed nothing overcomes, it may with great propriety he esteemed the wolf of the country.

The Dog or Dingo barks in a way peculiar to itself, but moans, snarls, and howls like other dogs.

Its general colour is a reddish dun, covered with long thick strait hair, and has short erect ears and a bushy tail; the nose, belly, and feet, are of a blue grey colour.


THE head of this animal is not so flat on a side view as the Scalpis Dentata. It has ears formed like those of a mouse. The hind legs compared to the fore are long; on the fore legs are four toes, the two middle of which are longest, and of the same length, with long bent nails. On their hind feet they have three toes, the middle one of which is the largest; the tail is long; the body has a mixed covering of hair and fur of a brownish grey colour.

This curious animal, which is indeed a miniature of the Kangaroo, has a pouch also on the lower part of the belly, for carrying its young in cases of danger or pursuit, on the surface of which are placed four nipples near each other.


THIS animal, which in size resembles the rabbit, has a flat body, with a head like a squirrel; the eyes are large and full, the ears are broad; the tail long, and its legs very short. Between the fore and hind legs, on the side is a skin, which on the extension of the legs form a broad wing; but when the legs are used in walking, it draws close up to the side of the animal, thus resembling the flying squirrel. On each fore foot it has five toes, with sharp nails, and on the hind toes it has the same number; but one may be termed rather a thumb, as it has a broad nail like a monkey. The foot is well calculated for holding the animal in a suspended state; the hair is thick and long on the back, and of a brown-grey colour.



THIS animal appears the most important in the country; its size is considerable, and it supplies both food and clothing, if an apron may be so called, to the inhabitants.

It has a small head, neck, and shoulders, and the body increases in thickness to the rump, from whence it again tapers to the tail. The head is oblong, and in form like that of a fawn, the upper lip being divided. The nostrils are wide and open, and the lower jaw is somewhat shorter than the upper.

The pupil of the eyes is of a blueish black, and the irides are dusky. The ears are erect, ovated, and thin at the ends.

The hair of the Kangaroo is of a greyish brown colour, somewhat similar to the English wild rabbit. It is thick and long, when the animal becomes old; but is very slow in its growth, and for some time resembles a strong down. In some parts, however, the mouth for example, it begins earlier to be hairy.

This animal's teeth are so singular, that it is impossible to decide, from them, to what class the Kangaroo belongs. It has four broad cutting teeth in the upper jaw; but only two long lanceolated teeth in the lower, which point forwards, and are so placed as to oppose those of the upper. It has also four grinding teeth in each jaw, remote from the others; and possesses the very singular power of separating the lower incisores, and bringing them again close to each other.

The proportions in some of the parts of this animal bear no analogy to what is common in most others.

The fore legs are so very short, as scarcely to reach the nose, and are indeed useless for walking. The hind legs are almost as long as the body, and the thighs are very thick. On the forefeet are five toes, with long conic and strong black claws; but on the hind feet are only three, the middle toe being very long and thick, like that of an ostrich, and extending far beyond the two others, which are small, and placed very distinct from it. The inner toe of the hind feet is singularly distinguished, by having two small claws; and the bottom and hind parts of the feet, on which the animal often rests, are black, naked, and tuberculated. The tail, which is thick at the base, and tapers to a point, has at the end a strong hard nail, and the hair on it is short and somewhat hard. The tail, though long in the old, is in the young short proportionally to the animal's size. It seems to keep pace with the growth of the hind legs, which are the instruments of progressive motion in this animal, and which would also shew that the tail is a kind of second instrument in this action.

The scrotum, which is large and pendulous, is placed before; and the female has, on the belly, an oblong pouch, of a vast depth, the receptacle of her young.

The Kangaroo is frequently more than six feet long, from the nose to the tail; and its weight of a hundred and fifty pounds and upwards.

Kangaroo is the natives name for this extraordinary animal.

It lurks among the grass, feeds on vegetables, and drinks by lapping. It goes chiefly on it's hind legs; making use of the fore feet as hands, only for digging, or bringing its food to its mouth.

The Kangaroo is timid: at the sight of men it flies from them by amazing leaps; springing over bushes seven or eight feet high, and going progressively from rock to rock.

When in motion, this animal carries its tail quite at right angles with its body; and, as it alights, often looks back. It is much too swift for greyhounds, and frequently escapes from the fleetest of those animals. The tail is its weapon of defence, with which it is capable of beating away the strongest dog.

The Kangaroo soon becomes domesticated when taken.

Mr. Pennant, the celebrated English naturalist, gives the following account of one he saw in London, during 1793:

"It was (says Mr. P.) in a place of confinement; it for a little time went on all fours, but soon assumed an upright attitude. It would sport with its keeper in a very singular manner: it first placed its tail in a perpendicular manner; erected its body on it as a prop; and then, raising its whole body, darted its hind legs on the breast of the man. It was capable of striking with great force, if provoked; and it could scratch violently with its fore claws."

[INSERT THE HORSE], [from 2nd Edition, omit Hyaena, Camelopard]]


[Though not a native of New South Wales, seems to thrive and continue its native vigour in this distant quarter of the world; as may further appear from the following account of a few days' sport at Sydney Races:—

Monday, October 15, 1810.
A Plate, value 50gs. given by, the Subscribers to the Sydney Race Course, for horses of all ages belonging to the Subscribers.—The best of three two-mile heats.—Two yrs. old to carry 6st. 2lb.; 3 yrs old, 6st. l2lb.; 4 yrs old, 8st.; 5 yrs old, 8st, 8lb.; 6 yrs old, 8st. 12lb.; and aged, 9st.

Friday, October 19.

A Purse, value 50gs, given by the Magistrates of the Colony, free for all horses (with the exception of the winner of the Plate and Cup), the best of three two-mile heats.
Mr. Benn's bl. h. Scratch, aged . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1
Mr. L. May's ch. g. Tickle Toby,6 yrs old . . . . . .2 2
Mr. Williams's r. g. Strawberry,5 yrs old . . . . . . 3 dr
Mr. Underwood's b. m. 6 yrs old. . . . . . . . . . . . .4 dr
Mr. Wentworth's b. g. Gig, 5 yrs old . . . . . . . . . .fell
Capt. Ritchie's r. g. Yorick, 5 yrs old . . . . . . . . . dis.

Mr. Wentworth's b. g. Gig, rode by Mr. Wentworth jun. beat Mr. Broughton's bl. g. Jerry, rode by the owner, three miles, 20gs. play or pay.—Gig won in a canter.

The Ladies' Cup, which was of very superior workmanship, won by Chase, was presented to Captain Ritchie by Mrs. Macquarie, who, accompanied by his Excellency, honoured each day's Races with her presence, and who, with her usual affability, was pleased to preface the donation with the following short address:—

"In the name of the Ladies of New South Wales, I have the pleasure to present you with this Cup. Give me leave to congratulate you on being the successful candidate for it; and to hope that it is a prelude to future success, and lasting prosperity."

Besides the above, several other matches were run during the week. At the close of the second day, four hacks ran for a saddle and bridle, given by the Subscribers, the best of two 3-mile heats, and won by Boshy.

The third day, Mr. James Cox's ch. poney ran against Mr. Birch's ch.m. once round, both rode by the owners. A. very fine contest, won by Mr. Cox.

The fall received by Mr. Wentworth's gr. g. Gig, in the first heat on the last day, was occasioned by a dog crossing the Course. The rider (Fisher) was too much hurt to recover himself in time to remount, but the horse was not much injured by his fall.

A similar accident had nearly befallen Mr. Benn's Scratch the second heat, being so much startled by a dog as to fly off, and run considerably out of his track; which was, however, attended with no bad consequences, being far a-head of his antagonist.

THE Duke of Northumberland has sent over some Teeswater sheep and one stallion, very recently, to Colonel Johnston, which have greatly improved the respective breeds. Some Merino sheep from the King's flock have also been taken over, which have throve well, and produced very fine wool. Severed of the deer in the colony having made their escape from a park belonging to a Mr. Harris, surgeon of the regiment, are understood to be breeding and running wild in the woods.—The children born in the colony from European parents are very robust, comely, and well made; remarkably quick of apprehension, and ready at learning. In manners and morals also they greatly improve.]



THIS elegant bird, which by some is called the Bird of Paradise, and by others the Mænura Superba, has a straight bill, with the nostrils in the centre of the beak. The base of the upper mandible has hairs like feathers inclining downwards, the upper mandible is at the base much like that of the pigeon, The eye is a dark hazle, with a bare space around it of a blue cast. The chin, and a small part of the throat, are of a dark rufous colour: the rest, with the body, of a blackish grey. The rump feathers are longer than those of the body, and more divided. The colour of the wings is dark rufous. The legs and claws are large in proportion to the bird. The outward toe is connected with that in the middle as far as the first joint. The tail is long, and composed of three sorts of feathers, of which the upper side is of a dark grey, with ferruginous spots. The first two lower feathers, which are curved in two directions, are beneath of a pearl colour, with several crescent-shaped spaces, of a rich red and black colour. The laminae are unwebbed, rounded towards the extremity, ornamented with a black bar, and fringed at the end. The shaft of the second, also long, is fringed with hair-like filaments; and the third, which is long and curved, is plumed on the inner side only, except at the extremity.

Bird of Paradise

The female differs little from the male, except in the tail, which is formed of 12 feathers a little curved and plumed, having the upper side dark rufous and grey, and the under of a pearl colour.

These birds frequent the most retired parts of the country, and have been seen running very fast; but their cumbrous tails prevent them from being able to fly in a direct line. They sing for two hours in the morning, beginning when they quit the valley, till they attain the summit of the hill, where they scrape together a small hillock; on this they stand, with their tail spread over them, and in this situation they imitate the note of every bird in the country, and then they return to the valley.


THIS bird is the only species of the genus known of this colour. Its body is the size of a large fowl, and on its wings are a small spine. The legs and spines on the shoulders of the wings are yellow; the bill and front of the head are red.


THIS bird, which is found in all parts of the country, has a red bill; head and throat dark blue; back part of the head green; prime quills dusky, barred with yellow. The belly is of a fine blue, thighs green and yellow; breast red and yellow mixed; back and wings green; prime quills dusky, barred with yellow; tail cuneiform, with the two middle feathers green; the others are the same only with yellow outer edges; the legs are dusky.

Black Cockatoo


THE general colour of the black Cockatoo of New South Wales is a rusty black, with long feathers on the head, on the top of which is a fine mixture of yellow. The beak is brown, and on the under side of the tail are several fine scarlet feathers, with black markings and tips.


THE beak of this bird is of a pale yellow hue, but the bird is in all other parts of a deep brown or blackish colour; except that on the chin there is a marking of white descending from the lower mandible. This bird is most certainly only a variety of the Æquinoctialis of Linnæus. In size it equals the English Raven.


THIS bird in shape and size resembles the English Magpye. It is black, except the base of wing feathers, the end of the tail, and the part from whence arises its name, which are all white. The beak is very strong, and indeed both the habits and appearance of the bird, prove it to be of the Crow species.


THE entire plumage of this bird is white, the beak is black, and the cere and legs yellow, in shape it resembles the English hen Harrier, which is the falco cyaneus of Linnæus.


THE Cassowary of New South Wales, is larger in all respects than the well known bird called the Cassowary, and differs so much even in its shape, as to incontestibly prove it a new species; The colour is a dirty brown grey, inclined a little to white on the belly, the structure of the feathers, which are all small, are like those of its common name-sake, having two quills with their webs arising out of one shaft; the head and beak resembles the ostrich in shape as well as size; the feathers, which very thinly cover the head, are so small as to resemble hair which descends much thicker down the neck, except the chin and throat, where it is so nearly bare as to shew the skin, which at those parts is of a purple hue; its wings are so short when compared to the bulk of the body, as to appear ridiculous; the legs of this bird also present a very singular appearance, for the back parts of them are notched like the teeth of a saw, and it has three toes, with strong black claws.

This truly remarkable bird is very shy, and when seen, runs with the speed of a grey-hound; its flesh is good food, being as tender as the best beef.


THIS genus of birds are particularly large mouthed, in comparison to the smallness of their beaks. The colours of the Crested Goat-sucker are cinereous, pale-brown sprinkled with white spots on the under parts, with the long feathers of the tail sprinkled with pale fasciae, and the ribrissae standing up on the upper mandible like a crest.

The name of Goatsucker arose in consequence of an ancient opinion of their sucking goats, &c.

From their mode of living as well as structure, they must be esteemed nocturnal swallows; they are fond of insects for food, particularly beetles.



THIS very singular bird has the bill of a Hornbill; the legs of a Toucan; and the tongue of a crow. The size of the body is nearly that of a Crow, the bill is large, and bent in the upper mandible; the space round the eye, is of a bright red; the head, neck, body and wings, are of a lead colour; and the thighs and tail have black markings on them.


THIS Parrot measures in length 18 inches, the head, neck and under parts, are of a rich scarlet colour; the wings and upper part of the body is green; crossing the upper parts of the wing coverts, is a bar of yellowish green, more glossy than in any other part; the bottom of the back and rump is blue; there is a patch of blue at the lower part of the back of the neck, dividing the scarlet and green; the tail which is long and of an olive brown colour; the bill is reddish, and the legs nearly black.

The female is chiefly green. The under parts, head and neck olive brown; belly red; rump blue, upper part green, and dusky underneath.


OF this bird* it is requisite to say but little, as the reader of the history of New South Wales can be no stranger to it: all that need be said is, that in dignity and grace it is equal to the European Swan. Its colour is of a sooty blackness, except on the long wing feathers which are white. The beak is of a fine red colour with a black tip, and on the upper mandible is a spot of yellow. The native name of the bird is Mulgo.

[* An exact representation of the Black Swan is given in the title page.]

Their flesh is esteemed even by those not natives of the country.


Is of a brown plumage differing in depth of colour. Under each eye is a streak, which growing, wider reaches the ear, and is of a fine yellow colour; the edges of the wing feathers are a slight yellow: the under part of the bird is white growing dusky about the chin and throat; the bill is broad at the bottom and of a pale colour; the tail is long, and when spread seems concave at the tip; the legs are dusky. In size the Yellow eared Fly-catcher of New South Wales resembles the English Martin.

Mountain Eagle


THE Mountain Eagle of New South Wales is a fine majestic bird, which stands three feet high on the ground.

The colour of its feathers are brown; the feet pale yellow, and the talons which it uses with the greatest force*, are black; the beak is of a yellowish horn colour, and the crest which is constituted by a few feathers, has a yellow sandy appearance.

[* One taken by Captain Waterhouse while on an excursion by water, drove its talons through a seaman's foot, though it Jay at the bottom of the boat with its feet tied.]

This bird is both an object of wonder and fear among the natives, for it frequently takes up a kangaroo, a dog, or a sheep, and probably they have little doubt but, that if driven by hunger and nothing else offered, the Mountain Eagle would descend for the purpose of carrying off a native.


IN size this bird must be compared to the Missel Thrush, though larger in its proportions. The colour is brown, but down each feather is a white line; under each eye is a kind of wattle of an orange colour; the feathers on the top of the head being longer than the rest, give an appearance of a crest; the middle of the belly is yellow; and the tip of the tail feathers are white; both legs and beak are brown.


THIS bird is of a curious species, remarkable for having most of the wing feathers marked with a spot of golden yellow, changing according to the lights in which it is viewed to green and copper bronze, and forms on the wing being closed two bars across. The bill and legs are red; the chin and fore part of the head are of a buff colour, and a streak of brownish red passes each eye; the two middle feathers of the tail are lighter than the other parts of plumage, which inclines to a dull lead colour with a bar of black near the ends.


THE top of the head is of blue grey; the hind part of the neck and the back is of a fine brown; the wings and tail are lead colour; the under parts of the bird are white, except part of the neck which is chocolate; the bill is of a dull yellow, and the legs are brown.



THE Emu of New South Wales has by some been thought to resemble the Emu of India, and by others the Ostrich of Africa, but Sir Joseph Banks is said to be of opinion, that it is very similar to the American Ostrich.

The Emu of New South Wales measures from the head to the foot from seven to eight feet, its general colour of a dull red brown; on the neck is a short space of purple; the feathers are all small and a few like hairs hang under the beak, and some few others grow erect on the top of the head; the legs are of a blue grey, and the iris is a bright red.


The colours of this bird are black and white; the bill is pointed and like the legs, dusky; the sides, belly, neck and breast are streaked with white, and over each eye is a streak of the same colour; the sides of the neck, and part of the back have the same kind of markings; the quills and tail feathers have yellow edges, and several of the outer ones are spotted within with white towards the tips; the size of the bird is nearly the same as the Nightingale.

The female in colours resembles the male, only they are not so bright; It has no white on the front of the head, that colour being confined to the parts round the cheeks; the yellow on the wings and tail incline rather to an olive colour; a rich brown colour is dispersed over the shoulders, which terminates about half way down the back.

The bill, legs, and indeed the general form of the female is considerably stouter than that of the male.


Is about the size of a Blackbird; the plumage is generally brown above and white beneath; the head and upper parts of the neck is very thinly covered with narrow feathers like hairs, but the fore part of the neck and breast are furnished with long ones, pointed at the ends and of a white colour; the bill is pale and about an inch in length, and on the forehead just at the base of the bill is a short blunt knob of a brownish colour, in length about a quarter of an inch; the tongue which is nearly as long as the bill, is bristly at the end; the legs are brown.


THIS bird is eighteen inches in length; the bill black above and white, beneath; the feathers narrow and long, so as to form a crest, they are of brown colours streaked with a paler brown; the back and wings brown; the lower part of the back and rump pale blue-green; the outer edges of the quills blue within and the tips black; on the wing covert is a patel of glossy blue-green, and the tail is barred with ferruginous and steel black glossed with purple, the end for an inch, white; the under part of the body is white, transversely streaked with dusty lines; the legs are yellow, and the claws black.


THE body of this bird is crimson; the feathers on the back are black; the chin, throat, and wings blue, with a line of a paler colour down the middle; the tail is long and blue, with the ends of a pale colour.

The female is green on the upper parts of the neck and body, and a patch of the same colour under each eye; the throat and chin are blue; the lower part of neck, breast and rump are red; the belly on the middle is dusky green; the tail dark blue fringed with chestnut; the other parts of the wing are dark blue.


THIS is the same size as the superb warbler, to which it has most certainly great affinity, but the tail is not cuneated at the end. The upper parts of this bird are brown, but very pale beneath, with a broad band of deeper brown towards the tip of the tail.


THIS green Parroquet has a long tail; the feathers round the beak, and the base of those in the tail, are red. The beak is of a brownish yellow; the feet are dusky; the tail feathers are yellow, except at the base; the wing feathers are dusky at the interior margins.


THIS bird is from ten to twelve inches in length; the general colour is a fine green, with the outer edge of the wing near the shoulders blue; on the sides of the body is a patch of red, and round the beak are a few feathers of the same colour; the long feathers of the wings are of a deep blue-black, edged with yellow; the tail is of a very deep ferruginous colour towards the base, but each feather is tipt with blue; the feet and bill are of a pale brown.


THIS bird in size resembles the Motacilla Flava of Linnæus, or yellow water wag-tail, but is much stouter made. The beak is pale, and the legs are brown; the two middle tail feathers are marked with white at the ends; the general colour of the bird is ash-coloured on the upper part, and yellow beneath.


THIS bird is about the size of a thrush, and measures nearly ten inches in length; the top of the head is blue and crested; the sides of the head, and back part of it, over the eye from the nostrils, a rusty coloured streak; the chin, middle part of the neck, and under part of the belly, buff colour; the plumage on its upper part is blue; the beginning part of the neck is black, of which colour are the inner sides of the tail feathers, the external parts only being blue. The base of the under jaw is whitish; the legs are brown.


THIS bird is undoubtedly only a variety of the Psittacus Cristatus of Linnæus, or large White Cockatoo; the beak and legs are black, which indeed seems the case with all the varieties; the crest is yellow, as well as the under parts of the tail and wings; the other parts are of a dusky white.

From the great variety of the feathered tribe I have described, and which are indeed only a few of the many daily seen, it will appear evident, that New South Wales is richly stored with some of the most beautiful works of the creation.



THE blue snake is about three feet and a half long, coated with rather large scales. The general proportion of this snake is nearly the same as the common English snake styled by Linnæus Coluber Notrix.*

[* The serpents I have described are but a few of the many which inhabit the country: none of these are poisonous, and are only the most remarkable because the most beautiful.]

Blue Snake; Black and White Snake


THE black and white Snake is very short, being only fifteen inches long, and from the head to the tail are alternate bars of black and white.


THE yellow snake is from three to four feet long, very slender; its general colour is a yellow tawny colour, with many irregular indistinct bars of a dark brown hue.


THIS snake is eight feet long; the belly is of a yellowish colour; the other parts are of a dark brown, with many spots of dull yellow; the scales are very small in proportion to the size of the animal, and the tail tapers to the end.



THIS Lizard is so nearly like the Lacerta Monitor of, or Monitory Lizard of Linnæus, as to leave but very little doubt whether it is any thing more than a variety of that species; the length of the body is fifteen inches, and the tail is still longer; the colour is black with yellow spots and streaks in a transverse direction; but those parts yellow in some, are white in others.


THIS species is five inches long with a proportionate head; the upper part is beset with numerous tubercles, which in those parts towards the head particularly are lengthened into points; the under part is of a pale colour, nearly white; the upper part is of a dusky grey colour and very rough; it has a depressed lanceolate tail, nearly spiny on the margin.


The tail is considerably longer than that of the Scincuses, though by no means so taper; the colour of this animal is an iron grey of various shades, in different parts appearing like stripes across the back and tail; strong scales cover both body and feet; on each foot the toes are regular and in the same numbers on each foot, and on each toe is a sharp nail. Each toe is covered with a very strong coat of scales.

Directly within the anterior edge of the opening of the ear is a membrane, that covers nearly one third of it, which is scolloped on the loose edge; the teeth form a row on both sides of each jaw, which increase in size as they receed; they are short above the gum and rounded off, so that they are calculated rather for bruising and breaking than cutting.

What renders this animal remarkable, is, it has two tails which form a kind of fork.


THE Muricated Lizard is nearly allied to the L. Agames and Calotes. Its length exceeds a foot; the tail is very long, and every part of the animal is covered with scales of a sharp form, marked with a prominent line on the surface; near the head these scales run into a sort of spine; the feet are furnished with claws.

The colour is a brownish grey, and the animal on the upper part is marked with dusky bars, which arc most visible on the legs and tail.


THIS Lizard appears the most elegant of the species; its length is about six inches and a half; its markings are paralleled lines of alternately black and white from the head to the base of the tail, the continuation of the tail is of ferruginous colour, of which indeed there are some few spots on the back; the lower parts of the body is of a pale yellow hue inclining rather to white; the tail which is long is round and tapers to the end.


THIS curious Frog which is of a fine blue, has a number of greyish specks beneath. It is the size of the common English Frog; it has four legs and feet, with four toes on each foot, and the toes on the two hind feet are webbed.


THIS Spider is of a fine clear chestnut colour, except on the body which is a pale brown with a blackish fasciae reaching down about half way from its upper part; the eyes are eight in number and placed like those of the American Spider; it has a curiously lucid surface on its thorax and legs, the latter of which are furnished with long spines, and the animal has the power of either elevating or depressing at pleasure, and from an orifice at the top of each fang, it is evident this Spider poisons its prey previous to finally destroying it.


To give any accurate idea of all the finny inhabitants of the deep surrounding New South Wales, is a task to be effected at some far remote period. Little indeed is the information I can give on this head at present, but that little is from the first authority.


Is about six inches in length, of a silvery white colour with a compressed body, as intimated by its name, and covered with scales of a moderate size.


THIS Fish which is termed Labrus Corpore Albescente. Labrus with whitish body, it is only about six inches in length with large scales, and as before observed is of a whitish colour.


The Doubtful Lophius is about six inches long, and of a very deep brown colour, nearly black; the mouth which is very wide, is furnished with several rows of teeth both slender and sharp; the brown on the belly is paler than that on the back considerably.


THIS Fish has a two spined anterior dorsal fin, and the body covered with granules, and is allied to the Balistes Papillosus of Linnæus. The body is of an ash colour; the thorax proceeds to a Sacculus beneath, and the fish on the whole forms a singular appearance.


THIS seems to be a new, and is undoubtedly a very elegant species of the Cheætodon, having seven black stripes on the body and six spines on the dorsal fin; in length it is four inches; the colour is a silvery white, rather darker on the back, on which part it has a bluish tinge.


THE specific character of this fish must be satisfactory, it is termed the Whitish Cottus, with aculeated head; body marked with transverse livid band, and its length is from four to six inches.


THIS Fish is of a pale yellowish colour, marked with longitudinal brown bands of five inches in length, and covered with large scales.


As to do justice to merit should ever be the object of an Author, I shall out of respect to Sir Joseph Banks, describe those productions of nature, which from the same cause Linnæus has named Banksia.

Four sorts of Banksia are described in the Supplementum Plantarum of Linnæus, of which the Banksia Serrata is the principal.


THIS is the most stately of the genus. Its trunk is thick and rugged. Leaves alternate, standing thick about the ends of the branches on short footstalks, narrow, obtuse, strongly serrated, smooth and of a bright green colour above, beneath opaque and whitish, with a strong rib running through their middle. A very large cylindrical spike of flowers terminates each branch. Most of the flowers are abortive, a few only in each spike producing ripe seed. The form of the capsules may be understood from the figure, which represents a whole spike in fruit, about a quarter the natural size. The capsules are covered with thick down. The plant, when it is in flower, shews the curved position in which the style is held by the corolla; the increase of the former in length being greater and more rapid than that of the latter.


THIS species was unknown to Linnæus; and Gaertner has given no specific character of it. It is however the Banksia with solitary flowers, ovate downy capsules, and lance-shaped entire smooth leaves.

The capsules are larger than in any other known species. In the figure they are represented considerably smaller than the life.


Or Banksia with solitary flowers; ovate, tumid, rugged capsules; and cylindrical leaves.

THE leaves are very peculiar, being perfectly cylindrical, about two inches long and one line in diameter, pale, green and smooth.


This tree grows to the height of more than an hundred feet, and is above thirty feet in circumference. The bark is very smooth, like that of the poplar. The younger branches are long and slender, angulated near the top, but as they grow older the angles disappear. Their bark is smooth, and of a reddish brown. The leaves are alternate, lanceolate, pointed, very entire, smooth on both sides, and remarkably unequal, or oblique, at their base; the veins alternate and not very conspicuous. The whole surface of both sides of the leaves is marked with numerous minute resinous spots, in which the essential oil resides. The footstalks are about half an inch in length, round on the under side, angular above, quite smooth. The flowers grow in clusters, from six to eight in each, sessile and conglomerated. These clusters are supported on angular alternate foot-stalks, which form a kind of panicle. Each capsule is about the size of an hawthorn berry, globular, but as it were cut off at the top, rugged on the outside, hard and woody, and of a dark brown colour. At the top is a large orifice, which shews the internal part of the capsule divided into four cells, and having a square column in the center, from which the partitions of the cell arise. These partitions extend to the rim of the capsule, and terminate in four small projections, which look like the teeth of a calyx. The seeds are numerous, small, and angular.

The name of Peppermint Tree was given to this plant by the celebrated Mr. White, on account of the very great resemblance between the essential oil drawn from its leaves, and that obtained from the Peppermint which grows in England. This oil was found by Mr. White to be much more efficacious in removing all cholicky complaints than that of the English peppermint, which he attributes to its being less pungent and more aromatic.

1.Banksia Serrata 2. Banksia Pyriformis
3. Peppermint Tree 4. Tea Tree
5. Yellow Gum Tree

"This tree appears", says Mr. White, "to be undoubtedly of the same genus with that cultivated in some green-houses in England, which Mr. L'Heritier has described in his Sertum Anglicum by the name of Eucalyptus obliqua, though it is commonly called in the gardens Metrofideros obliqua; but we dare not assert it to be the same species, nor can this point be determined till the flowers and every part of both be seen and compared; we have compared the best specimens we could procure of each, and find no specific difference. The Eucalyptus obliqua has, when dried, an aromatic flavour somewhat similar to our plant. We have remarked, indeed, innumerable minute white spots, besides the resinous ones, on both surfaces of the leaves in some specimens of the garden plant, which are not to be seen in ours, and the branches of the former are rough, with small scaly tubercles. But how far these are constant we cannot tell. The obliquity in the leaves, one side being shorter at the base than the other, as well as somewhat narrower all the way up, as in the Begonia nitida of the Hortus Kewensis, is remarkable in both plants."


THIS is a small shrub, very much branched. The bark full of longitudinal fissures, and easily separated from the branches. Leaves on short footstalks, alternate, lanceolate, pointed, intire, about three quarters of an inch in length, smooth on both sides, marked with three longitudinal ribs, and reticulated with transverse veins; they are also full of resinous spots, the seat of an aromatic essential oil. It most nearly approaches the Leptospermum virgatum of Forster, referred by the younger Linnæus, perhaps improperly, to Melaleuca. At least it may safely be determined to belong to the same genus with the Melaleuca virgata Linn. Supp. though a distinct species. The specific difference between them is, that the leaves of this plant have three ribs, whereas M. virgata has leaves perfectly destitute of ribs or veins. Hence it is judged the figure and description of Rumphius, Herb. Amboin. V. 2. t. 18. to belong rather to this Tea Tree, than to M. virgata; and if this conjecture be right, the plants are still further distinguished by the inflorescence, which in M. virgata is an umbel, whereas in the figure above mentioned the flowers are solitary.


THIS is a tree or shrub, from whose leaves it is judged to belong to the genus of Smilax. The leaves are about two inches long, ovato-lanceolate, pointed, entire, marked with three longitudinal ribs, and many transverse elevated veins, smooth and shining above, glaucous beneath, with a thick cartilaginous edge of the substance of the ribs. The leaves have the taste of liquorice root accompanied with bitter. They make a kind of tea, not unpleasant to the taste, and good for the scurvy. The plant promises much in the last respect, from its bitter as a tonic, as well as the quantity of saccharine matter it contains.


THIS is a very large and lofty tree, much exceeding the English oak in size. The wood is extremely brittle, and, from the large quantity of resinous gum which it contains, is of little use but for firewood. The flowers grow in little clusters, or rather umbels, about ten in each, and every flower has a proper partial foot-stalk, about a quarter of an inch in length, besides the general one. The general footstalk is remarkably compressed, and the partial ones are so in some degree. The flowers are yellowish, and of a singular structure. The calyx is hemispherical, perfectly intire in the margin, and afterwards becomes the capsule. On the top of the calyx, rather within the margin, stands a conical pointed calyptra, which is of the same colour with the calyx, and about as long as that and the footstalk taken together. This calyptra, which is the essential mark of the genus, and differs from that of the Eucalyptus obliqua of L'Heritier only in being conical and acute, instead of hemispherical, is perfectly entire, and never splits or divides, though it is analogous to the corolla of other plants. When it is removed, a great number of red stamina are seen standing in a conical mass, which before the calypta is taken off, are completely covered by it, and filled in the inside. The Antheræ are small and red. In the centre of these stamina is a single style or pointal, rising a little above them, and terminated by a blunt stigma. The stamina are very resinous and aromatic. They are inserted into the margin of the calyx, so that the genus is properly placed by Mr. L'Heritier in the class Icosandria. These stamina and style being removed, and the germen cut across about the middle of the calyx, it appears to be divided into three cells, each containing the rudiments of one or more seeds.

On making incisions in the trunk of this tree, large quantities of red resinous juice are obtained, sometimes even more than sixty gallons from a single tree. When this juice is dried, it becomes a very powerfully astringent gum-resin, of a red colour, much resembling that known in the shops by the name of Kino, and, for all medical purposes, fully as efficacious. Mr. White administered it to a great number of patients in the dysentery, which prevailed much soon after the landing of the convicts, and in no one instance found it to fail. This gum-resin dissolves almost entirely in spirit of wine, to which it gives a blood-red tincture. Water dissolves about one-sixth part only, and the watery solution is of a bright red. Both these solutions are powerfully astringent.


THIS is about the size of an English walnut tree. Its trunk grows pretty straight for about fourteen or sixteen feet, after which it brandies out into long spiral leaves, which hang down on all sides, and resemble those of the larger kinds of grass or sedge. From the center of the head of leaves arises a single footstalk; eighteen or twenty feet in height, perfectly straight and erect, very much resembling the sugar cane, and terminating in a spike of a spiral form, not unlike an ear of wheat. This large stem or footstalk is used by the natives for making spears and fish gigs, being pointed with the teeth of fish or other animals.

But the most valuable produce of this plant seems to be its resin, the properties of which vie with those of the most fragrant balsams. This resin exudes spontaneously from the trunk; the more readily, if incisions are made in its bark. It is of a yellow colour; fluid at first, but being inspissated in the sun, it acquires a solid form. Burnt on hot coals, it emits a smell very much resembling that of a mixture of balsam of Tolu and benzoin, somewhat approaching to storax. It is perfectly soluble in spirit of wine, but not in water, nor even in essential oil of turpentine, unless it be digested in a strong heat. The varnish which it makes with either is very weak, and of little use. With respect to its medicinal qualities, Mr. White has found it, in many cases, a good pectoral medicine, and very balsamic. It is not obtainable in so great abundance as the red gum produced by the Eucalyptus resinifera.

Thus having described the principal natural productions, I shall resume the history of the country: as to notice the endless variety of flowers, &c. &c. would exceed the limits of my plan, or indeed my wish.

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[It will appear in the sequel that the improvement of the colony was not in that state of forwardness that might have been wished; and that it probably sustained no small loss by the removal of the Governor, Colonel Collins, who died at Van Diemen's Land in March 1810.

Col. David Collins was the eldest son of Gen. Arthur Tooker Collins, and Harriet Fraser, of Pack, in the King's county, Ireland, and grandson of Arthur Collins, Esq. author of the Peerage of England, &c. He was born on the 3d of March, 1756, and received a liberal education under the Rev. Mr. Marshall, Master of the Grammar School at Exeter, where his father resided. In 1770 he was appointed lieutenant in the Marines; and, in 1772, was with the late Admiral M'Bride, in the Southampton frigate, when the unfortunate Matilda Queen of Denmark was rescued from the dangers that awaited her by the energy of the British government, and conveyed to a place of safety in the king her brother's Hanoverian dominions. On that occasion he commanded the guard that received her Majesty, and had the honour of kissing her hand. In 1775, he was at the battle of Bunker's Hill; in which the first battalion of Marines, to which he belonged, so signally distinguished itself, having its commanding officer, the gallant Major Pitcairne, and a great many officers and men, killed in storming the redoubt, besides a very large proportion of wounded. In 1777, he was Adjutant of the Chatham Division; and, in 1782, Captain of Marines on board the Courageux, of 74 guns, commanded by the late Lord Mulgrave, and participated in the partial action that took place with the enemy's fleet, when Lord Howe relieved Gibraltar. Reduced to half-pay at the peace of 1782, he resided at Rochester, in Kent (having previously married an American lady, who survives him, but without issue); and, on its being determined to found a colony, by sending convicts to Botany Bay, he was appointed Judge-Advocate to the intended settlement, and in that capacity sailed with Governor Phillip in May 1787 (who moreover appointed him his secretary), which situation he filled with the greatest credit to himself and advantage to the Colony, until his return to England in 1797. The History of the Settlement, which he soon after published, followed by a second volume, a work abounding with information, highly interesting, and written with the utmost simplicity, will be read and referred to as a book of authority, as long as the Colony exists whose name it bears. The appointment of Judge-Advocate, however, proved eventually injurious to his real interests. While absent, he had been passed over when it came to his turn to be put on full pay; nor was he permitted to return to England to reclaim his rank in the corps: nor could he ever obtain any effectual redress, but was afterwards compelled to come in as a junior captain of the corps, though with his proper rank in the army. The difference this made in regard to his promotion was, that he died a captain instead of a colonel-commandant, his rank in the army being merely brevet. He had then the mortification of finding that, after ten years' distinguished service in the infancy of a colony, and to the sacrifice of every real comfort, his only reward had been the loss of many years' rank, a vital injury to an officer. A remark which his wounded feelings wrung from him at the close of the second volume of his History of the Settlement, appears to have awakened the sympathy of those in power; and he was, almost immediately after its publication, offered the government of the projected Settlement on Van Diemen's Land, which he accepted, and sailed once more for that quarter of the globe, where he founded his new colony; struggled with great difficulties, which he overcame; and, after remaining there eight years, was enjoying the flourishing state his exertions had produced, when he died suddenly, after a few days' confinement from a slight cold, on the 24th March, 1810. His person was remarkably handsome, and his manners extremely prepossessing; while to a cultivated understanding, and an early fondness for the Belles Lettres, he joined the most cheerful and social disposition. Plow he was esteemed by the inhabitants of the Colony over which he presided, will appear from the following extract of a letter announcing; his decease. By the death of Col. Collins "this Colony has sustained a loss it will take a number of years to get over. I have known and served with him from the first establishment of the Colony; and, when I speak the feelings of my heart on this melancholy occasion, I am sure that it is not my single voice, but that of every department whatsoever in the Settlement, who, with the most heartfelt regret, universally acknowledge him to have been the father and friend of all."]


At the commencement of the century, it would be indeed fortunate, if the colony had been established sufficiently, to have placed a probability of want at defiance, but this was by no means the case; for the salt provisions even in store at the beginning of the year 1801, were found to be so short, as to make it necessary to send a vessel to Otaheite, for the purpose of salting pork for the use of the Colony; but an obstacle of the greatest importance in such an undertaking, prevented its being immediately put in execution: namely, there was no salt to send for the purpose wanted, in the Colony; providentially, however, a vessel put in to port Jackson, from the Cape Verde Islands, of the master of which, the Governor was enabled to purchase a quantity, amounting to nearly fifteen tons; in consequence of which, a ship was dispatched, under the command of Lieut. Scott, completely equipped and furnished with every requisite instruction, to effect the object of his mission, and in addition to these, he took a letter from the Governor to Pomarre, the King of Otaheite earnestly requesting him, tip afford Mr. Scott every protection and assistance in his power, to forward the completion of the business for which he was sent; for the Governor was perfectly aware, that although provisions might be sent out from England for the use of the settlements, yet accidents might retard or prevent their reaching New South Wales by the time those in the stores were expended. In addition to this request to the King of Otaheite, the Governor urged particularly, that the missionaries residing at that place might receive every attention, and endeavoured to convince Pomarre, that his majesty would, by the good conduct shown to these people, judge of those of Otaheite. But probably Mr. Scott took with him, far more powerful arguments, that those in the Governor's letter, being accompanied by a plentiful assortment of yellow and red cloths, knives, shirts, tomahawkes, axes, jackets, scissars, &c. &c. for the people in general, and for his Majesty of Otaheite, who was known to be by no means averse to presents. Mr. Scott was furnished with a mantle and other dresses, ornamented with feathers, six musquets and ammunition, and thus equipped, could not well fail of success: and well indeed would it be, if objects of as much national advantage could be procured from all nations, as that for the liberty of salting provisions at Otaheite, was to New South Wales, at the expense of so small a present.

Least however, any accident should happen, the Governor forwarded instructions to Norfolk Island, for salting all the provisions that could by any means be spared, for the settlers, convicts, &c. at Sydney.

The Governor, ever anxious to prevent any want falling on the inhabitants, had entered into a contract with a merchant in India, for a cargo of cattle and rice, fully satisfied, that from the period of its arrival, the country would be unquestionably competent to supply its own wants, as far as related to grain and cattle at least, as the stock of cattle was now become very considerable, even independent of the wild cattle in the woods; and the promising crops of grain, now seemed enough to defy any prospect of want when gathered.

The cattle in the woods, were now to be esteemed seriously increased; inasmuch, that from the power of their numbers, and additional furiosity, all attempts to take them alive, was become dangerous, and indeed almost absurd; and as they had strayed to the western mountains, they had gained nearly inaccessable retreats. Thus situated, it is by no means improbable but they may at no very distant period, become objects of pleasure in the pursuit; and by their eventual deaths, furnish a constant supply of food for the settlements, and certainly in a chace of this kind, far more real pleasure may be found, than in the pursuit of the timid hare, which, even when taken, can scarce serve half a dozen persons for a single meal.

On the 4th of June, 1801, his Majesty's birthday was celebrated with additional marks of distinction, as intelligence had been received of the union of England and Ireland; in consequence of which, on that occasion, the union standard was unfurled for the first time in New South Wales, and the Irish in confinement, were set at liberty.

The live-stock belonging to individuals in June 1801, was,

    Hogs.         Goats.         Sheep.         Cattle.         Horses.    
4766 1259 6269 362 211

On the 12th of June, arrived the Earl Cornwallis with convicts and stores, after a quick and prosperous voyage.

By a return made of the inhabitants in the settlement, it appeared that on the 30th of June, there were six thousand five hundred and eight persons, under the authority of government; nine hundred and sixty one of whom were at Norfolk Island, and of the good state of health universally enjoyed, a competent opinion may be formed, as only one hundred and eighteen were on the sick list.

The live-stock, the property of government, in August amounted to; of

    Horses.         Sheep.         Cattle.    
32 488 931

and the ground in cultivation, the property of government and individuals, amounted to the following numbers of acres only in wheat and maize:

      Acres of Wheat.         Acres of Maize.    
The property of Go-
467 300
——— Individual's    4857¼ 3564
——— ——— ———
Total, 5324¼ 3864

The brig Lady Nelson, of only 60 tons burthen, commanded by Lieut. Grant, arrived without her meeting with any accident, in December 1801. Her commander, perfectly acquainted with her good qualities, made the land in latitude 38° 00' South, coasting for some distance toward the Eastward, and sailing through Bass Strait, in his way to Port Jackson.

In this passage of the Lady Nelson through the Strait, nothing new was added to the discoveries previously made by Capt. Flinders and Mr. Bass, in the Norfolk, except that of having made the land about four degrees further to the Westward than seen by those gentlemen.

A serious accident happened by a fire, which consumed a stack that contained 1000 bushels of grain, the property of an individual; and though there was every reason to suspect that it was occasioned by some incendiary, it could not be discovered, and indeed it was very difficult to form an idea with any degree of certainty, whether it was effected by a native or one of our own people, as the former were continually receiving what they deemed sufficient cause for the commission of every depredation and too many of the latter were ever ready to commit any vileness, without any provocation whatever.

Unfortunately, however, the natural ignorance of the natives, and the refined iniquity of the convicts, were not the only obstacles the colony had to encounter. Neither was the occasional intense heat to which the country was subject; for another overflow of the Hawkesbury inundated the country, and destroyed the farms and property of the settlers, who now abandoned themselves to despair, and quitted their possessions.

Thus the close of the year 1801, and the opening of 1802, afford little or no variety to the general routine of occurrences which daily pass in all settled countries, except that New South Wales is, and I fear ever will be, while a receptacle for convicts, more particularly marked by a repetition of crimes and punishments, than any quarter of the globe.

The natives have now nearly ceased giving any material trouble to the colonists, unless aggravated, and in such cases they will seek their own modes of redress as long as they exist in their savage state of nature, and there can be little doubt but the causes which stimulate them will never cease.

The Lady Nelson brig having been in Bass Strait, surveyed Western port, and found a very good harbour. She also went, in company with the Francis schooner, to Hunter river, where they took in between them 45 tons of coal, which were exchanged with the master of the Cornwallis for a quantity of nails and iron, articles of which the colonists stood in the greatest need, and thus the natural produce of the country contributed to its wants for the first time.

As the Francis was now nearly worn out, the Governor purchased a vessel called the Harbinger, to go to and from Norfolk Island, the service of the Porpoise, which had for some time been used, being required for longer voyages. The Supply, though long since condemned, was fitting up as a hulk for incorrigible convicts; for though unfit for every other purpose, it might still be thus employed, and be the means of affording another opportunity to the numerous still offending inhabitants of the country, to return to a proper line of conduct, who it is even still to be lamented, continue equally unmoved, either by the fear of punishment, or the hope of reward, careless alike to the pain of the former or the pleasures of the latter, they follow the dictates of their own vile inclinations, and if impeded by the arm of justice, they suffer the inflicted sentence with that hardened bravado which represses every sensation of that pity which is an honour to human nature, when called forth into action by objects deserving commiseration. This reflection, perhaps, bears more strongly on my mind, having been this day favoured, by an officer of distinction, with the very interesting, though dreadful narrative of facts, relative to the sufferings of several persons who sailed with Mr. Bampton in the Shah Hormuzear, on the 19th of April 1793, in company with the Chesterfield*, and I know no better way of stating the horrid affair than in the words of the narrative:

[* Vide page 117. [Chapter V]]

"On the 29th of June 1793, an island was discovered from on board the Shah Hormuzear, then in company with the Chesterfield, in latitude 9° 28' S. and 146° 57' E. longitude, by good observation.

"This new discovered land is called Tate's Island, in honour of Mr. Tate, of Bombay.

"On the 1st of July, the ships anchored in nine fathom water, about twelve miles to the Eastward of Tate's Island; when it was proposed by Capt. Bampton, of the Hormuzear, to send a boat from each ship to sound two reefs of rocks, extending to the Northward from the North point of the Southward from the South point.

"The boats were accordingly dispatched; and when they had approached within about half a mile of the island, they perceived that the island was inhabited.

"The natives made signs to the seamen to come ashore, but the day being then far advanced, and not having a sufficient quantity of arms and ammunition in case they were attacked, they thought it most prudent to make the best of their way back to the ships.

"When the natives saw they were about to return, many of them leaped into the water and swam after the boats, while others of them launched two or three canoes, and soon came up Math them. They bartered bows, arrows, and spears, for small penknives, beads, &c. Some of the natives went afterwards on board the ships, and traded there in the same articles.

"They are a stout well-made people, woolly-headed, and in stature resemble the description given of the New Guineas, as well as in complexion. They appeared to be humane and hospitable people from their behaviour while on board.

"After they had left the Hormuzear, it was perceived that they had stolen a hatchet, and several small articles, which might have been expected, as it is common amongst most savages.

"On the 2d of July, it was proposed by Captains Bampton and Holt to man one boat from the two ships, and send her ashore, to see if there was any water to be had, and also for a party to go up to the highest point of the island, to see how far the land extended to the Westward, as the ships were then looking out for Forest's Streights.

"Mr. Shaw, chief officer of the Chesterfield, was appointed to this duty. Capt. Hill, of the New South Wales corps, Mr. Carter, purser of the Hormuzear, and Mr. Haskett, passenger, proposed to accompany him, in order to make some observations on the soil, produce, and inhabitants, of this new-discovered island.

"On the 3d in the morning, these gentlemen having provided themselves with presents for the natives, consisting of penknives, scissars, razors, beads, &c. and with plenty of arms and ammunition, in case of attack, embarked on board a boat, and at noon reached the island.

"The natives received them very kindly, and conducted the boat to a convenient place for landing. After they had gone ashore, and distributed some presents amongst the natives, which they appeared to be very much pleased with, it was proposed, that Messrs. Shaw, Carter, and Haskett, should proceed to the top of a high point of land, and that Capt. Hill should stay by the boat with the four seamen.

"They accordingly armed themselves with a musquet each, and a sufficient quantity of powder and ball to begin their journey properly accoutred.

"There were by this time great numbers of the natives, men, women, and children, assembled round them, the men and children quite naked, and the women with no other covering than a leaf over such parts as nature had taught them to conceal.

"The gentlemen, when properly equipped, made signs to them that they were in want of water, on which, with the greatest cheerfulness, they conducted them to an excellent spring of water, frequently kissing the hands of the party on the way, crying out "Wabba! wabba!" which they supposed to be water in their language.

"After the gentlemen had examined the water, they made signs of being desirous to ascend the hill; the natives readily conceived their meaning, offered to conduct them, and appeared to be very happy in the strangers' company.

"They had proceeded about three quarters of a mile up the hill, when they were conducted to a level spot of cleared ground, where grass was growing, and several young plantain trees springing up in the midst of it, and the number of birds chirruping among the bushes that surrounded this spot made it appear romantic.

"Here they were invited to sit down, to which Messrs. Carter, and Shaw consented; but on Mr. Haskett's saying 'he suspected they had some designs on them', Mr. Carter replied, that he believed them to be a set of innocent creatures, and made signs for something to drink.

"A boy was immediately dispatched, and shortly after returned with two cocoa nuts, which were given them to drink. After Mr. Carter had drank he got up and gave his musket to Mr. Haskett to hold, while he took a sketch of the landscape as it then appeared to his view.

"The natives seeing the two muskets in Mr. Haskett's hands, desired to hold them for him; he gave Mr. Carter's to one of them, but kept his own cocked, the muzzle directed towards the breast of him who held it.

"As soon as Mr. Carter had finished, he took the musket from the native, and chid Mr. Haskett for his fear, mentioning repeatedly that they were an innocent race of men, and Mr. Shaw acquiesced in his opinion.

"After refreshing themselves they made signs to the natives to proceed further up the hill, which they did not seem inclined to, but rather wished them to go down to the valley that appeared clear and pleasant from the place they were then in, which was surrounded by bushes and shrubs.

"When the natives perceived that their visitors were determined to ascend the hill, they followed in great numbers, hallooing and shouting most hideously on the way.

"Mr. Haskett strictly observed their motions; as they were continually making signs to each other, and frequently pointing towards him, he intimated these observations to the other gentlemen, and begged them for God's sake to be on their guard, for the natives were certainly bent on mischief.

"At length, about half past two P.M. they reached the summit of the hill, on which they found a clear spot of ground of some acres in extent: the natives here kissed their hands frequently, and, very kindly to all appearance invited them to sit down and rest themselves; which, however, they declined to do, the day being so far spent.

"Here they had an opportunity of taking the view which was the object of their journey; they saw the reefs extending as far as the eye could reach; but no land to the Westward of the Island, except a large sand-bank nearly even with the water's edge, and not far from the island.

"At the same time they also perceived a great number of the natives round the boat, who they supposed were trading with Captain Hill. When they had made their observations, they began to descend; by degrees the natives contrived to separate the three gentlemen at eight or ten yards from each other, insinuating themselves between them in the path, which was but narrow, under the pretence of assisting them down the hill.

"Mr. Haskett perceived boys of about 14 or 15 years of age lurking in the bushes as they passed, with bundles of spears and arrows, of which he informed Mr. Carter, who was the foremost in the path, and asked Mr. Shaw, who was behind them, if he saw them? who answered them in the affirmative.

"Mr. Shaw begged the other gentlemen to be on their guard; and Mr. Haskett proposed to Mr. Carter to turn all the natives before them, as he could plainly perceive they were bent on murdering them; but Mr. Carter said, he thought that would shew signs of mistrust or fear, and that he thought it better to go on as they were, and be all upon their guard.

"They had got down the hill the greatest part of the way in this manner, when they were met by a very old man, who kissed Mr. Carter's hand first, and then attempted to kiss Mr. Haskett's, but was not permitted; he then went on and kissed Mr. Shaw's, who was in the rear.

"Immediately after Mr. Haskett called out, 'They want to take my musket from me'; and Mr. Carter exclaimed, 'My God! my God! they have murdered me!' Mr. Haskett discharged his musket at the next man to him; on the report of it, the natives all fled into the bushes.

"Here was a horrid spectacle for Mr. Haskett to behold; Mr. Carter lying on the ground in a gore of blood, and Mr. Shaw with a large cut in his throat under the left jaw; but luckily they were both able to rise and proceed down the hill with all possible speed, firing at the natives wherever they saw them.

"When they arrived on the beach they called out 'Fire! fire!' But what must have been their feelings when they perceived Capt. Hill and one of the seamen dead upon the beach, cut and mangled in a shocking manner; they shortly after perceived two of the seamen floating on the water between the boat and the beach, with their throats cut from ear to ear. After some difficulty, the unhappy survivors made a shift to get on board the boat.

"They found that the natives had taken all their provisions, boat cloaks, &c. started the water out of their kegs, and left the fourth sailor dead in the boat, cut and mangled in the most shocking manner.

"They tried to get in their grapnel, but found it impossible, it was so entangled amongst the rocks by the natives. They therefore cut it; and Messrs. Shaw and Haskett got out two oars and pulled off shore, whilst Mr. Carter kept the natives, off with his musquet. But they found great difficulty in getting out of the reach of their spears and arrows, as the wind blew fresh on the shore.

"At length they found they could weather the point of the island by hoisting the sail, which the natives most fortunately had left behind them, and it was hoisted accordingly.

"Mr. Haskett bound up by the wounds of his unfortunate comrades, with their handkerchiefs; but Mr. Carter was so weak from the loss of blood, that he was obliged to lay down in the bottom of the boat, while the other two were spectators of the fate of their deceased companions.

"They saw very distinctly those voracious cannibals dragging the bodies of Captain Hill and the seamen up towards large fires prepared on the occasion, yelling and howling at the same time.

"Between nine and ten they cleared the point of the island, when it was proposed by Mr. Shaw to run under the lea of it, and endeavour to get to the sand bank they saw from the top of the hill; that being the only method they could take, as they might reasonably hope, when they had not returned to the ships as expected, boats would be sent in quest of them the next morning.

"They, therefore, hauled up under the lea of it, and made fast a club of iron wood, which the cannibals had left in the boat, to a nine pound lead, which had also escaped their notice; these they bent to the lead-line, and let it go, in hopes it would ride her till the next morning.

"They then committed the body of the murdered seaman to the deep, and returned thanks to the Almighty for delivering them from those inhuman monsters.

"The pain the two wounded gentlemen felt, and the anxiety of them all, deprived them of rest all that night. When day-light appeared, they found they had drifted nearly out of sight of the island, and to the leeward of the sand bank.

"It was impossible to reach the bank; they therefore consulted respecting what was best to be done in their perilous situation.

"They examined what was left in the boat, and found some knives and scissars in the stern locker, but to their great sorrow the compass was gone, and all their provisions and water. There was also Mr. Haskett's great coat left in the boat, but nothing else.

"Left now totally to Mr. Shaw, as to what were the best steps to take, as the other two were neither navigators nor seamen, he informed them, that the wind was then fair to run direct for Timor, which lay nearly West of them, and he supposed they should reach that island in about ten days. He could not think the ship or boats would ever find them, and the longer they delayed bearing away, the less able they would be to perform their voyage without provisions and water.

"They therefore all agreed to stand away to the Westward, and trust themselves to that providence who had delivered them from the cannibals of Tate's Island.

"Animated with hope, they continued thus until the 5th. when hunger and thirst preyed upon them: Mr. Carter's wound was so painful that he begged to have it examined, which Mr. Haskett did while Mr. Shaw held the steer oar. With great difficulty the hair was cut from the head, which, with the handkerchief and his hair, were entirely clotted with blood. The wound was in the back part of the head, and appeared to have been made with a hatchet. After having been washed with salt water, Mr. Haskett tied it up with a piece of his shirt, and Mr. Carter found himself after the dressing much relieved.

"In the afternoon they discovered land, which they supposed to be the S.W. extremity of New Guinea; and on running down towards it, perceiving a reef extending to the Southward, on which were several negroes, whose heads only were out of the water, they were at first mistaken for breakers above the water, but as soon as their mistake was discovered, no one was eager to try their friendship, the fate of their companions being too fresh in their memory; not even though one of the negroes held up to them a large fish; no small inducement to men who had not broke fast for fifty-two hours.

"They passed the reef, however, without in the least noticing the natives, and continued their course to the Westward, Mr. Shaw and Mr. Haskett relieving each other every two hours at the steer oar.

"On the 6th in the morning they discovered a sand bank to the Southward, quite dry, to which they gave the name of Forlorn Hope. A great number of birds being perceived about this bank, they endeavoured to make for it, in the hopes of killing some of them and gathering eggs, but found that the boat was drifting to the leeward of the bank; they therefore hauled down the sail, and endeavoured to row up to it, but found themselves so exhausted for want of food and water, that it was impossible to make their way towards the bank; indeed so much had that attempt fatigued them, that it was with the greatest difficulty they could accomplish stepping the mast and again hoisting the sail.

"This fatigue, after the boat was again on her course, occasioned them to repine and murmur at their misfortunes; but reflection on the goodness of that providence who so far had protected them, changed it into a perfect reliance on his mercy.

"On the 7th in the morning, they found two small birds in the boat, one of which they immediately divided into three parts, each devouring his share with the keenest sensations of hunger: the other bird was reserved for another meal. Even with this small share of sustenance their spirits were considerably raised:—.they Still steering to the Westward; the sun being their guide by day, and the stars by night.

"Shortly after sunset this day they found themselves in shoal water, and breakers all round them; however, they stood on till about nine at night, when, having deepened to about five fathom, it was proposed by Mr. Shaw, and agreed to, that they should come to and rest themselves for the night.

"On the 8th in the morning, they discovered land on both sides of them, which was at first very discouraging, but Mr. Shaw, perceiving a current setting to the Westward, conjectured that there was a passage through, and that after clearing the land they should find an open sea, by which means they might shortly reach Timor.

"Having, therefore, stood in between the islands, they found there was a passage between them, and, not perceiving any signs of inhabitants, agreed to land and look for water: Mr. Shaw and Mr. Haskett accordingly landed, and finding a hole full of water, Mr. Shaw could not refrain from drinking heartily of it; after which, however, and that a keg of it had been filled, it was found to be as brackish as the water alongside.

"They stood on through these straights, which they named God's Mercy. In the afternoon Mr. Carter's wound became very painful; and on Mr. Haskett's opening it to wash it as usual with salt water, he found three pieces of the skull had worked out; which circumstance, however, he did not communicate to Mr. Carter, hut, on the contrary, gave him every assurance of its doing well.

"Mr. Carter, having been very weak from the opening of the wound, the throat of the remaining bird was cut and applied to Mr. Carter's mouth, and, yielding a few drops of blood, gave him great relief. They divided the bird in the same manner they had done the other.

"On the morning of the ninth, Mr. Carter was so much reduced as to be under the necessity of drinking his own urine, which example was followed by the other two, and notwithstanding its being disagreeable, they found great relief from it. About nine at night Mr. Shaw and Mr. Haskett found themselves so weak and overcome by sleep, that not being able to stand to the steer oar, they lashed the car, and found the boat went along very steadily. After joining in a prayer of thanksgiving to the Almighty, to whose protection they committed themselves, they lay down and had a refreshing sleep; occasionally, however, they could not refrain from starting up to look out for land or danger.

"They resumed their labours at the oar on the morning of the 10th, which were rather increased by its blowing fresh and by a heavy swell, which obliged them to reef the sail. It was with the greatest difficulty Mr. Carter's wound could be dressed. Mr Shaw's wound in the throat was by this time nearly closed up.

"They stood on this day without any thing material occurring; Mr. Shaw still using all his powers to cheer them with the assurances of seeing land in a day or two, although at the same time he had hardly strength to haul the sheet aft, while Mr. Haskett lashed the oar.

"At ten P.M. they found very shoal water, with breakers all round, on which Mr. Haskett took the oar, while Mr. Shaw kept a look out for a channel; in which manner they ran on for the distance of three or four miles in not more than three or four feet water; the sea frequently breaking over them, which rendered Mr. Carter's situation truly deplorable, as, from extreme weakness, he could not stir from the bottom of the boat, which was so full of water that it was with the greatest difficulty he could keep his head above it.

"To add to their distress, no sooner had they got clear of one shoal, than from the violence of the oar beating against another, Mr. Haskett was knocked out of the boat, which required all the exertions of Mr. Shaw to get him in again, and which he could have accomplished by no other mode than that of putting an oar under his arm, and lifting him up as by a lever.

"On the 11th, they felt themselves much relieved by getting clear of the shoals, and launching once more into the ocean; on which occasion, as often before, they addressed themselves to that Power to which they trusted for deliverance. Mr. Carter's wound was again washed, and four pieces more taken from the skull, when they clearly discovered, that from the blow being given slantways down the back of the head, it had been given by a hatchet, which they had no doubt was the one which had been stolen from the ship. They still however assured him of its looking well and being about to heal.

"They were now in greater distress than ever for water: even the last miserable resource they had considerably failing them. This threw such a damp on their spirits that they grew disconsolate, and were making up their minds to meet death with becoming fortitude, having given up every hope of surviving another day, when Mr. Haskett eagerly exclaimed 'he saw land'.

"Mr. Shaw likewise perceiving it, they revived instantly. Once more putting their hopes in Providence, they stood in for the Southern extremity of the land, which they made no doubt was Timor, and soon got in a few miles to the leeward of the extreme, where they discovered a bay, at the head of which were cocoanut trees.

"They shortly after perceived the natives on shore. Recent circumstances, however, made them fearful of landing; but Mr. Shaw observed, that they might as safely trust to the chance of being well received on shore as perish at sea, which they must inevitably have done in another day.

"Having resolved, therefore, they ran into the bay, when it was proposed that Mr. Haskett should remain in the boat, while Mr. Carter and Mr. Shaw went in search of Water. But on Mr. Carter's being helped out of the boat, it was found he could not stand: he was therefore helped in again, and Mr. Haskett with Mr. Shaw advanced towards the natives, Mr. Shaw having a water keg and Mr. Haskett a musquet, when they were overjoyed by hearing the natives cry out, 'Bligh! Bligh!' recollecting that Capt. Bligh was very humanely treated at Timor; and they had now no doubt left but they had the good fortune to touch at the same place. They made motions to the natives for cocoa nuts, who gave them to understand that they did not belong to them; one of them however gave Mr. Shaw a baked yam, which he found it impossible to eat on account of his throat being so exceedingly parched. Having made signs for water, the natives led them to a spring, where they quenched their thirst; when, having filled the keg, they ran to Mr. Carter, who was calling out for water, after which they devoured the yam with the greatest eagerness, the natives looking at them the whole of the time in astonishment.

"After their slender repast, they mentioned the word Timor to the natives, who repeated it very distinctly, and pointed towards the point to the Southward, and then to a prow on the beach, intimating that they would conduct them there; in consequence of which Mr. Shaw gave them two musquets and a number of knives and scissars which remained in the boat.

"The natives made signs to go farther up the bar, which they acquiesced in; but finding they wished to lead them up a very narrow inlet, Mr. Shaw refused to go in with the boat, representing that it would be highly imprudent, and as they wished to get to Cupang as soon as possible, thought it adviseable to make the best of their way there.

"This being agreed to, the boat was pushed off, and two oars got out in order to row round the point, expecting, after that, to have a fair wind to Cupang. Finding, however, a prow in chace of them, they lay on their oars, hoisted their sail, and put away before the wind, in order to escape from slavery, which they made no doubt of experiencing if taken by the prow in chace of them.

"The prow continued chasing them along the shore, between a reef and the beach, which extends the whole length of the island. Finding the prow still in chace, they stood over the reef, which is a continued chain of breakers, and the prow not thinking it proper to follow them, they escaped, and coasted it down the island. Night approaching, and finding themselves much fatigued, they hauled the sheet aft, and lashed the oar as before, and found the boat went along shore very steadily. They then lay clown to sleep, and on waking in the morning were refreshed with the smell of spices, which was conveyed by the land wind, and which so revived Mr. Carter that he several times exclaimed, 'Keep up your hearts, my boys, we shall dine with the Governor of Cupang to-day.' Their hopes were however frustrated by the numerous difficulties they had yet to encounter, owing to the innumerable shoals and points, The water they had drank tended likewise to increase their appetites. They were forced at night, notwithstanding, to pursue the same method they had formerly adopted in order to obtain sufficient rest to enable them to go through the fatigues of the ensuing day.

"On the morning of the 13th, Mr. Shaw took the steer oar; but the wind being fresh, and the boat going with great velocity through the water, he was, from weakness, unable to stand the force of the oar, and fell overboard: luckily, however, he held by the gunnel until Mr. Haskett came to his assistance, when with great exertions he was got into the boat again.

"Shortly after this they saw a point ahead, which they found it impossible to weather while the wind remained the same way. They, therefore, once more determined to land, and accordingly ran into a small bay; when the natives came running towards them, beckoning them to come ashore, and calling out, 'Bligh! Bligh!' They immediately ran the boat on shore, and Mr. Haskett being helped out of the boat by the natives, they sat him down on the beach, and went immediately to the assistance of his companions. When they had brought them on shore, they presented them with a couple of cocoa-nuts, yams, and Indian corn, which they received with unfeigned gratitude.

"The natives gazed on these three famished sufferers in silent astonishment: nor is it to be wondered at; for their cheeks were shrivelled, their eyes sunk almost into their heads, their beards long, and their whole frames totally emaciated.

"The natives, far from disturbing them, made signs for them to eat and drink, which they did with the greatest eagerness. Mr. Carter then begged to have his wound dressed, which was done with fresh water. Mr. Shaw having unbound his wound, found it nearly healed.

"The natives appearing to express some curiosity as to the manner in which those wounds were received, Mr. Shaw explained it in the best manner he could, at which they made signs of being much shocked, which did not however fully satisfy the three gentlemen of their pacific intentions; but as they beckoned to proceed on towards their huts, they complied, which gave the natives apparently great satisfaction.

"They then attempted to get up and walk, but they could not accomplish it without support, which the natives very kindly afforded them, and led them to their town, which is situated at the top of a steep hill, accessible only by two perpendicular ladders, up which they were lifted by their guides. When they arrived, they were taken to the Chief's house, where were assembled an immense concourse, who came to view the strangers. Here they were again presented with corn, yams, and toddy to drink, after which the Chiefs pressed them to take rest. Mr. Carter and Mr. Shaw accordingly laid themselves down there, but Mr. Haskett was removed to another house, there not being sufficient room for all.

"They were a little alarmed at seeing two men watching at the door; notwithstanding that the Chief placed himself between them and the men, and had a spear by his side. Mr. Shaw got up in the night and went out of the door, in order to try if they would prevent him going farther, but was agreeably surprised to find they waited only lest any thing should be wanted by the strangers.

"On the morning of the 14th of July, when they again met together, the natives presented them with Indian corn, yam, and toddy; which when they had taken they made inquiry into the name of the land, and found that it was called Sarret, and was separate from the Timor Land, which was the first place they refreshed at. They were also informed that there was another small island to the Northward called Fardette by them, but which is in our charts called Ternabor. They also understood that a prow came yearly to trade to Ternabor, and that she would arrive in seven or eight months.

"This information greatly relieved them, and they were soon convinced that the natives were of a humane and hospitable nature.

"The first and second week elapsed without any material occurrence, except that of a pair of scissars being stolen by one of the children. As they were very serviceable in cutting the hair round Mr. Carter's wound the chief was informed of the circumstance, and he immediately called a council, consisting of the elders of the community; when after an hour's debate they withdrew, and on the day following the scissars were found.

"On the 25th of July Mr. Carter's wound was entirely healed, after having had thirteen pieces of the fractured skull taken out.

"They remained in perfect health until the 24th of November, when Mr. Carter caught a fever, and died on the 10th of December 1793, much regretted by his friends Shaw and Haskett, as well as by the natives of Timor Land.

"The two survivors waited in anxious expectation for the arrival of the annual trading prow from Banda, and she arrived, to their great joy on the 12th of March 1794.

"They sailed from Ternabor on the 10th of April, and on the 1st of May arrived at Banda, where they were received with the utmost hospitality by the Governor, who supplied them with every thing necessary for men in their situation, and procured them a passage on board an Indiaman bound to Batavia, where they arrived on the 10th of October 1794.

[The following inserted into 2nd Edition]

[To the catalogue of savage murders many subsequent instances might be added: here it may be only necessary to mention the destruction of the ship Boyd, from the "Sydney Gazette", September 1, 1810.

"We mentioned in our last, that Captain Chace had received at New Zealand a particular account, from an Otaheitean, of the loss of the above vessel; which we premise by stating, upon the foregoing authority, that when the Boyd went from hence she had on board four or five New Zealanders, who made part of her crew. These people were displeased at their treatment on the passage, and determined on revenge. On their arrival, they communicated their complaints to their friends and relatives, who were of the Whangarooa party, and frequently at war with Tippahee and his subjects; and the design of taking the ship was formed in consequence. It being Captain Thompson's intention to take in a quantity of spars, he applied to the natives for assistance in procuring them, which they promised; but, in order to entice him on shore, artfully objected to perform, until he should accompany them to point out such as he might best approve. The Captain was thereby prevailed on to leave the vessel, accompanied by his chief officer, with three boats manned, to get the spars on board, the natives who had arrived in the ship being of the party, which was accompanied by a number of others in their canoes. The boats were conducted to a river, on entering which they were out of sight of the ship; and after proceeding some distance lip, Captain Thompson was invited to land, and mark the spars he wanted. The boats landed accordingly, the tide being then beginning to ebb, and the crews followed to assist in the work. The guides led the party through various parts of the wood that were least likely to answer the desired end, thus delaying the premeditated attack until the boats should be left by the effluence of the tide sufficiently high to prevent an escape; which part of the horrible plan accomplished, they became insolent and rude, ironically pointing at decayed fragments, and inquiring of Capt. Thompson whether they would suit his purpose or not. The natives belonging to the ship then first threw off the mask, and in opprobrious terms upbraided Capt. Thompson with their maltreatment; informing him, at the same time, that he should have no spars there but what he could procure himself. The Captain appeared careless of the disappointment, and with his people turned towards the beats; at which instant they were assaulted with clubs and axes, which the assailants had till then concealed under their dresses; and although the boats' crews had several muskets, yet so impetuous was the attack, that every man was prostrated before one could be used.

"Capt. Thompson and his unfortunate men were all murdered on the spot, and their bodies were afterwards devoured by the murderers; who, clothing themselves with their apparel, launched the boats at dusk the same evening, and proceeded towards the ship, which they had determined also to attack. It being very dark before they reached her, and no suspicion being entertained of what had happened, the second officer hailed the boats, and was answered by the villains who had occasioned the disaster, that the Captain, having chosen to remain on shore that night for the purpose of viewing the country, had ordered them to take on board such spars as had already been procured; which account readily obtained belief, and the officer was knocked down and killed by those who first ascended the ship's side. All the seamen of the watch were in like manner surprised and murdered. Some of the assassins then went down to the cabin door, and asked the passengers and others to go on deck to see the spars; and a female passenger, obeying the summons, was killed on the cabin ladder. The noise occasioned by her fall alarmed the people that were in bed; who, running on deck in disorder, were all killed as they went up, except four or five, who ran up the shrouds, and remained in the rigging the rest of the night.

"The next morning Tippahee appeared alongside in a canoe, and was much offended at what had happened; but was not permitted to interfere, or to remain near the ship. The unfortunate men in the rigging called to him, and implored his protection; of which he assured them, if they could make their way to his canoe. This they effected at every hazard, and was by the old king landed on the nearest point, though closely pursued. The pursuit was continued on shore; they were all overtaken, and Tippahee was forcibly held while the murder of the unhappy fugitives was perpetrated. A female passenger and the children, who were afterwards found in the cabin, were spared from the massacre, and taken on shore to a hut, in which situation Mr. Berry and Captain Pattison, of the City of Edinburgh would them when they rescued them. Tippahee was afterwards permitted by the Whangarooans to take three boat loads of any property he chose out of the ship, fire-arms and gun-powder excepted; and the bulk they divided among themselves. The salt provisions, flour, and spirits, they threw overboard, as unpalatable; the carriage guns they did the same with, considering them useless; the muskets they prized very much; and one of the savages, in his eagerness to try one, stove in the head of a barrel of powder, and, filling the pan of the piece, snapped it directly over the cask, the explosion of which killed five native women, and eight or nine men, and set part of the ship on fire.

"From the foregoing detail, it appears that neither Tippahee, nor his son Mytye, had any share in the barbarous acts committed by those sanguinary miscreants, but that the old Chief had, on the contrary, endeavoured to preserve the lives of several of the crew; and if we consider the order in which the incidents are narrated, we must at least conclude this to be the most probable account received of the doleful event before us; and the more especially so, as it is the report of an Otaheitean, who was on the spot at the time, and who, as an alien, not being interested on the part either of the Bay of Islanders or of the Whangarooans, may still more be entitled to credit. In the principal facts, alas! all accounts unhappily coincide; and while we have to deplore the calamity, we cannot forbear expressing a hope that the commanders and crews of vessels traversing these seas will temper friendship and humanity, towards the uncivilized islanders with prudence and caution, and be ever guarded against surprise and treachery, to which numbers of our countrymen have become the victims."]


HAVING continued the History of New South Wales, to the year 1802, and as an opportunity will offer of sending the Manuscript to England in a few days; I shall close my labours by one general view of the country, from the foundation of the settlement, to the present time.

On a rational view of the country itself, at the period of effecting the first landing by Governor Phillip, in 1788. What was the country? but one thick wood: this, by the never ceasing exertions of those officers in the expedition, gradually vanished; the country opened; agriculture commenced: the effects of their care was repaid by the satisfaction of knowing they performed, to the best of their abilities, which were indeed great, the object for which they were sent: and how highly are they entitled to public gratitude, for rendering those parts which were formerly only largewoods, convenient ports for the refreshment of ships; for the sales of cargoes; grateful fields for industrious farmers, and evidently in some cases, an effectual school of reform for characters previously banished from decent society! The discoveries of coal, tin, iron, &c. &c. open the doors of commercial intercourse, sufficiently to prove, that whatever articles the country might hereafter stand in need of, may be procured by the endless resources of its own natural productions.

The unfortunate circumstances which occasionally distress the country, both in consequence of the extreme heats and overflowing of the Hawkesbury, will undoubtedly become evils of less serious magnitude, as cultivation becomes still more generally diffused; for the slightest observation will shew, that had the country in the interior, been in a state of cultivation, the rains which swelled the Hawkesbury would have been absorbed, as they descended instead of rolling down the smooth surfaces of the hilly parts, and thus in one grand body, rushing into the Hawkesbury. Of this indeed, I am fully convinced, for as the pursuits of Agriculture extend, the violent rains are attended with less dreadful consequences, which proves evidently, that in process of time, no ill effect will result from them. But on the contrary, the earth when in a state of cultivation in the interior, will naturally be moistened and improved by the rains, and the moisture so received, will resist the heats which occasionally distress the settlers, by setting the whole surface of the country on fire; and as the nature of the soil is so particularly prolific as to afford two annual crops. New South Wales may in time prove a second Poland, by becoming the Granary of the World!!!

The difficulties the officers have, from the foundation of the Colony had to combat, deserves absolute pity, for what a scene of misery has been their portion, born and educated in affluence, nurtured in splendour, and accustomed to elegance, fashion, politeness, and all the enjoyments of refined life; we find them snatched suddenly away, and placed through national necessity, between a numerous body of vile convicts, and an innumerable body of savages, with only the very slender barrier of a few military. Thus situated, their strength could only be increased by the very few of those convicts returning to a proper knowledge of themselves. Dangerous indeed must be imagined, the situation of these gentlemen, and dangerous indeed it was; but fortunately their own conduct was such, that ensured them respect, fear and love at the same time, and bad indeed as the convicts have been found, from the beginning to the end of the History of the Colony, not one has been found so lost, as to offer any personal injury to any of the officers.

In continuing this retrospect, the poor natives next interest my attention: their natures, which are naturally savage, could but ill brook being driven from any part of their native country, and though offered no personal violence, at the foundation of the Colony, that spirit of revenge, so truly congenial to their natures, manifested itself by far too powerfully on every occasion. True, it most certainly is, that some of the convicts continually committed those depredations, which must have cried loudly, and have obtained redress, had they been executed on other persons. The consequence of course followed, for the natives knowing no superior power, sought redress in their own way; but doubtless, had they never had just cause to be offended, the greatest benefit might have been gained by their labours, Indeed, now they begin to understand the English language a little, many are found particularly useful, and live regularly at the settlement, on the earnings of their own industry, and possess dispositions of the most amiable kind. Though there are undoubtedly, continually others, who, after living some time amongst our people, quit all the comforts of the Colony, for the savage association of the wild natives; but this may certainly be accounted for on two grounds; a natural savage ignorance, or a total abhorrence of labour, to which cause must be attributed, the primary motive which occasioned many of the convicts visiting the country. It is therefore, by no means wonderful, that these savages totally unacquainted with any employment, should quit absolute labour, till they obtained a proper knowledge of all the various enjoyments they might obtain, by the exertion of that labour.

As the natives associate with the inhabitants of the settlements, they very rapidly become enlightened, and have in many cases been known to give the first intelligence, of any breach of public orders issued by the Government. This has gained them the esteem of some, and the censure of others; indeed, several have been so disgusted with the criminal proceedings of the convicts towards each other, that they have sought rather the habits of the former part of their lives, than live with those who would injure each other wilfully. It is however, to be hoped, that as the settlements] increase in cultivation and population, the natives will have better examples and fewer temptations to do injuries; for, there are now nearly One thousand young persons living, all born in the country, who, it is fondly hoped, will become good and useful members of society; in which case, a few years will remove all those fears, either from mischief to be dreaded from the natives or convicts, that continually alarm the Government and better sort of settlers. Some of the natives are now very regular in attending divine worship, and even those totally unacquainted with the language, behave with the greatest propriety, which respect, undoubtedly arises from an explanation received by them, from those of their fellow natives; who have not only acquired the language, but can both read and understand the scriptures. How opposite has been, generally speaking, the conduct of the convicts, born in a country where the poorest and meanest of the people are taught the value of the scriptures they have neglected, nay even despised them. The actions of their lives form but one dreadful chain of events, only connected by a series of uniform depravity, which no admonitions could repress, no laws restrain, and no punishment reform.

The regulations adopted by the Government, either for the general good of the settlements, or even for the particular benefit of the convicts themselves, have not only been neglected, but prevented being carried into effect. Even the restrictions the convicts were wished to observe, as to confining themselves within a given space, though it concerned the safety of their own lives, they by no means regarded, notwithstanding examples frequently met their eyes, of those who paid for their rashness with their lives. The various escapes attempted and effected in spite of every regulation, every danger, or every fatal instance of those, who by such vain endeavours fell sacrifices to their folly, had no beneficial effect on the minds of the depraved inhabitants. But this certainly arose from that detestation of labour, which nearly all so uniformly inherited, and which there seems even yet to be no very efficient means of overcoming: for at this period even the garden grounds allowed to many of the convicts are not cultivated, as they prefer rather wasting the time allowed them for that purpose, than to make a proper use of it. But, probably, as the decent members of society increase fast, when they exceed the numbers of the contrary description, shame will operate so powerfully, as to induce them to act with propriety—.to prevent being avoided, when their terms of transportation shall expire. It is indeed much to be lamented, that every ship nearly which visited the country, furnished those disposed with the means of procuring spirits in the most unreasonable quantities, notwithstanding the prohibitions of the government, and that scarce a vessel left the country without assisting some to make their escapes. This perhaps unsettled most of those who would otherwise have been contented; for as every arrival revived their hopes of escape, so did it cause them to neglect their duty to attempt getting away. These, added to the repeated and unfortunate shortness of provisions with which the colony was formerly visited, might be an additional motive for such attempts being made. When it is considered with what evils the government of New South Wales had to contend, it is really wonderful how so much labour was effected on the public account; for exclusive of the quantity of land cleared and cultivated, the list of buildings in pages 415 to 420 [Chapter X], which are there mentioned, as only those during Governor Hunter's residence as Chief Magistrate in the country. Many other works have gone forward on the accounts of individuals: so that had it fortunately have happened that all had with equal alacrity exerted themselves for the good of the colony, as the various officers have been found to do, it is hardly possible to calculate to what degree of importance the country might by this time have arrived at.

When the time shall arrive, that a more regular communication is kept up between New South Wales and the mother country, which there is every reason to expect will shortly take place, in consequence of the representations which Governor Hunter promised on leaving the colony to make to Government, there can be no doubt but many advantages will result to both countries, though more particularly to this; and should it be thought proper by Government to suffer some honest families to come out as settlers, there can be no doubt but it would prove most highly beneficial to themselves and the settlements, as that spirit of monopoly which has in several instances manifested itself, would by that means be broken, if not entirely overcome, as there would be a greater number ready to buy the cargos that might arrive for sale, and consequently an increased number of retailers, which would occasion a necessity of selling the articles at a more moderate price.

The want of a regular attendance on divine worship, of which notice has been so frequently taken in the course of the History is now nearly removed; and I am happy to be able to say, that the New Church, built at Paramatta, is properly attended every Sunday by all classes of people, and I trust it will be very long before another complaint can be made of want of attention on that head. The adjoining sketch of the Church is a very faithful representation, and will serve to gratify the curiosity of my readers.

View of the New Church at Paramatta.

[The following is omitted from 2nd Edition]

It is much to be regretted, that any persons should have been sent to New South Wales for their political connections. Above all places in the world, they could not have been sent to a worse, and the worse their cases might be, strange as it may seem, it was the more highly improper, for what must be the result? The convicts, all depravity themselves, admired, rather than despised them; and the generous conduct of the Government to Muir, and others in not putting them to hard labour, was construed into a pity which their fates might seem to deserve, and what had nearly been the effect of sending these people—but the overthrow of the country, and the massacre of the officers composing the government. For my part, might I be permitted to offer an opinion on the best way of both deterring, in the first place, or preventing a repetition of crimes, it would be by placing those convicted to hard labour in the public streets or highways for a given time, being fully convinced that it is the detestation of work that causes at least one half of the crimes in all parts of the world to be committed. Death, with all the horrors which can be made to accompany it, is not half so dreadful as work to this class of mankind. Let them be placed and kept to hard labour in view of the public for all crimes but murder, and it would be found there would, in a short time, be fewer executions, and no need to transport more convicts to New South Wales. The Hulks were intended to effect this object, but have not answered the purpose, for the same reason that transportation fails: whereas labouring in the streets and highways, they would receive the continual mortification of seeing their friends and relations, those they have plundered, and those they have associated with, and perhaps brought them to destruction. Thus at the expiration of their terms they would reap a salutary lesson, and have an opportunity of returning to society, and deter others from becoming EQUALLY PUBLIC CHARACTERS.

Thus having finished my retrospective view of the whole, I must now conclude, trusting I have related with the greatest impartiality every circumstance noticed in the History, and that I have omitted nothing of consequence. Thus flattering myself on the whole, I have been a faithful narrator of facts; and that the work will afford the reader some entertaining recompence for his trouble, I must now cease to trespass further on his patience.


W. Flint, Printer, Old Bailey, London.

[2nd Edition: SUPPLEMENT]

BUT respecting the morality of the settlers and fertility of the colony, it was evident from the very first trials that it could only be improved by the skill and active industry of respectable settlers. Among the first settlers there were unfortunately eighty-seven, mostly emancipated convicts, sailors and privates from the marines, men too long accustomed to drinking spirituous liquors to shake off a practice so pernicious in their new situation; however, this is an evil no longer existing, it having been found necessary to transport incorrigible characters even from the place to which they had been transported before. The settlers consequently are more select, and hence respectable strangers, as well as the natives of Great Britain, are induced to come and establish themselves in the new colony. In fact, every arrival for the last seven years has brought passengers; and when it is considered that vessels from the following places are constantly visiting the settlement, it is almost impossible to doubt of its increasing consequence, viz. the Cape of Good Hope, Batavia, Bengal, Bombay, Madras, the West and North West coasts of America, Manilla, Dusky Bay, Otaheite, Cape Blanco, China, &c. &c.

Besides the superabundant crops of grain which the colony has been brought to produce, iron ore equal to any Swedish has been discovered; many fine veins of coal; oak not inferior to our finest mahogany, for articles of furniture and veneering; spermaceti oil; seal skins; wool equal in quality to the finest Spanish; besides hemp, flax, tobacco, &c. &c.

As for any association with the natives in general, it is no longer expected; and as they have long since ceased to be formidable to the settlers, this is a matter of small importance; it is most probable that, imitating the conduct of the Indians in North America, as strangers encroach, they will retire further and further into the interior. They seem totally incapable of refinement; their natural aversion to its wholesome restraints has proved on all occasions insurmountable; and it has been consequently observed that Bennillong, though he had been to England, even the refined Bennillong soon stripped himself of all his fine cloaths, and betook himself in a state of nature to his native forests and former habits; although, when he first returned home, he appeared to his sisters and relatives quite the man of consequence. He even declared, in a tone and with an air that seemed to expect implicit compliance, that he should no longer suffer them to fight as they had done; that he should introduce peace among them, and make them love each other; and that when they visited him at the government house they ought to be more cleanly in their persons, and less coarse in their manners. And, though he himself for a time behaved with great propriety at table, particularly in the observance of those attentions chiefly requisite in the presence of women, he could not exterminate his ancient propensities, but finally gave up all his new prospects for the liberty of indulging habits of life not many removes from absolute beastiality. And, when some of our officers asked Bennillong whether he had left all his good manners in England, he replied, "Oh! good manners are of no use here: one must always make free." Still, this is a rule not without several exceptions; it will therefore give great pleasure to every advocate for humanity to know, that through the attention of the governors, the officers, and their ladies, several of the natives' children are educating at Paramatta, Port Jackson, &c. and that they have manifested a docility of disposition, that does not leave the smallest doubt of their becoming useful members of society. The Rev. Mr. Marsden, chaplain to the colony, took a native boy whom he brought to write a good hand and speak English with great fluency. He was also taught singing, and had a particular taste for sacred music. Several others have been taught to read the New Testament.

It further appears, that by means of the Paramatta, a trading vessel from Port Jackson, several voyages have been made to the Society's Islands, viz. Huahene, Macatea, and Bora-bora. The chiefs of these islands have shewn a very friendly disposition towards the Christian religion.

Many, natives of Otaheite had visited the missionaries in 1806, at Port Jackson, and the governor had also assured them of his patronage and support. In the course of the same year It appears that Pomarre, the chief, had such a thirst for knowledge, that he consented to learn to write English: several persons of consequence were following his example.

The authority of Pomarre as king, was acknowledged not only at Taheite Eimeo, Metea, and Teturoa, but also at Huahene, Koatea, Macoa, Manu, Borabora, and at Matea, (the recreation island of Koggewin) and likewise by some of the Pearl islands. In a bloody war maintained at Oura, in 1807, it is said the party who conquered baked in an oven, and ate up their enemies.

Pomarre in the same year promised to banish Ofo, his chief idol, to Raatea, and to abolish human sacrifices and infant murders. Though this, some of the Taheitans then said, was all te veha, mere talk.

A strain of simplicity seems to run through the following

Letter from Pomarre, King of Otaheite, to the Missionary Society.

Matavae Otaheite, Jan. 1, 1807.


"I WISH you every blessing, friends, in your residence in this country, with success in teaching this bad land, this foolish land, this wicked land, this land which is ignorant of good, this land that knoweth not the true God, this regardless land.

"Friends, I wish you health and prosperity; may I also live, and may Jehovah save us all.

"Friends, with respect to the letter you wrote to me, I have this to say to you, that your business with me and your wishes I fully consent to, and shall consequently banish Oro, and send him to Raetea.

"Friends, I do therefore believe and shall obey your word.

"Friends, I hope you also will consent to any request, which is this; I wish you to send a great number of men, women, and children here.

"Friends, send also property, and cloth for us, and we will also adopt English customs.

"Friends, send also plenty of muskets and powder, for wars are frequent in our country. Should I be killed, you will have nothing in Taheite: do not come here when I am dead: Taheite is a regardless country, and should I die with sickness do not come here. This also I wish, that you would send me all the curious things that you have in England. Also send me every thing necessary for writing; paper, ink, and pens in abundance: let no writing utensil be wanting.

"Friends, I have done, and have nothing at all more to ask you for. As for your desire to instruct Taheite, 'tis what I fully acquiesce in. 'Tis a common thing for people not to understand at first; but your object is good, and I fully consent to it, and shall cast off all evil customs.

"What I say is truth, and no lie; it is real truth.

"This is all I have to write, I hate done. Friends, write to me, that I may know what you have to say.

"I wish you life and every blessing,
"May I also live, and may Jehovah save us all,

"POMARRE, King of Taheite, &c.

For my Friends the Missionary
      Society, London.

The late Governor Bligh, also, previous to his removal by Lieutenant-Governor Paterson, had been extremely favourable to the missionaries in affording them all the accommodation in his power.

Pomarre, the king of Otaheite, has been in connection with the colony ever since 1801, when a scarcity of provisions being much feared in New South Wales, the governor dispatched a letter by Lieutenant Scott, who was going to the Cape de Verd Islands, to the king of Otaheite, earnestly requesting him to afford Mr. Scott all the assistance in his power, as he was perfectly aware that though provisions might be sent from England for the use of the settlement, accidents might notwithstanding retard, or prevent, their reaching New South Wales by the time the stock in hand would be expended.

At this time also the governor made it a particular request to Pomarre, that the missionaries then residing at Otaheite; should receive every attention; and he endeavoured to convince him that his majesty the king of Great Britain would, by the good conduct shewn to these people, judge of those of Otaheite.

But Mr. Scott, it is thought, took with him far more powerful arguments than those in the governor's letter, this being accompanied by a plentiful assortment of yellow and red cloths, knives, shirts, tomahawks, axes, jackets, scissars, &c. &c. for the people in general: and for his majesty of Otaheite, (who was known to be by no means averse to presents) Mr. Scott was furnished with a mantle and other dresses, ornamented with feathers, six muskets and ammunition, and thus equipped could not well fail of success. Lest, however, any accident should happen, the governor in the mean while sent instructions to Norfolk Island for salting all the provisions that could be well spared for the settlers and convicts at Sydney.

Mr. Marsden, the chaplain to the settlement, who succeeded the Rev. Mr. Johnson, about sixteen years since, has been a very zealous assistant to the governor in keeping up the missionary interest in that quarter. With the view of procuring young men for that undertaking, that gentleman was in England about two years ago; when he spoke in the warmest terms of the climate and scenery of this improving colony. It should also be understood, that in December 1807, a gold time-keeper sent to be repaired was sent back from Sydney to Pomarre, and in his absence delivered to his mother.

To return to the affairs of the missionaries; all these prospects of success seem to have vanished suddenly; for a war having broken out at Otaheite, the missionaries were obliged to retire to a neighbouring island, about sixteen miles distant, when some of them having been there before, they were received in a friendly manner. This intelligence came from the directors at Huahene.

When the war broke out, the brig Perseverance from Sydney, in New South Wales, was in the bay of Matavae: she was detained 4$ hours by the earnest request of the missionaries, and took them, with their property, on board. They left Otaheite about noon, Nov. 10, 1808, and anchored in the harbour of Huahene about noon next day.

This serious war in Taheite, it is thought, will, in all probability, end in the dissolution of Pomarre's government, and the total overthrow of his authority. A new mission to Uletea, it was said, was in agitation, under the protection of Tapoa.

Literature as well as religion, it seems, has increased in this, distant quarter. Even some time ago it was observed, that the colony of New South Wales "was already England in miniature." It is but little more than two centuries since Europeans settled in a manner nearly similar on the continent of North America; and which has now for some years past proved its ability to maintain its own independence.

One of the most striking public efforts of the inhabitants of New South Wales towards assuming a national character ought not to be passed over without interest and observation. It is a period naturally leading to reflection, and the thinking mind cannot look forward without anticipating similar occurrences to those which have happened in America; but only with this difference, which perhaps may hasten such a period, viz. that New South Wales increases in wealth and conveniences much more rapidly than America did.

But in no point of view, perhaps, the wealth and prosperity of a country can be so justly ascertained as by the number and contents of its newspapers; and the appearance of a weekly print at a very early period in the rising infant colony would certainly have excited surprise, had it not been, visibly connected with the most promising hopes of its future prosperity. We allude to the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, price sixpence, ornamented with an oval device, containing the implements of husbandry, round which are the words, "Thus we hope to conquer." It was published by the authority of Governor King, at Port Jackson, on the 6th of March 1803, where his excellency resided.

From, all the subsequent papers which have arrived here, it appears they are much occupied, like our English newspapers, with advertisements, state of the markets, public sales, articles lost and found, even servants wanted, with articles of millinery, jewellery, &c. &c. Hence the state of society is evident; and it presents a wide field to reflection to observe how nearly all this approaches to the perfection of opulence.

Another representation of delegated authority, of late very frequently to be seen in the colony, is the public seal. The obverse bears the king's arms and royal titles, and the reverse emblematic figures suited to the situation of the people for whose government it is designed. The motto is, "Sic fortis Etruria crevit;" and in the margin, Sigullum Nov. Camb. Aust.

But, perhaps, a more just tribute to the flourishing state of this colony could not possibly have been paid than that which has been given by a stranger, M. Peron, the naturalist, who accompanied the voyage of discovery sent out by Buonaparte, between 1800 and 1804.

The activity and extent of English commerce were never more forcibly depicted than in the language this impartial observer made use of on this occasion. "A crowd of objects", said he, "demanded our notice in every direction. In the port (Jackson), we saw, drawn up together, a number of vessels that had arrived from different parts of the world, and most of which were, destined to perform new and difficult voyages. Some of them had come from the banks of the Thames, or the Shannon, to pursue whale-fishing on the frigid shores of New Zealand: others, bound to China, after depositing the freight which they had received from the English government for this colony, were preparing to sail for the mouth of the Yellow-river; while some, laden with pit-coal, were about to convey that precious combustible to India, and the Cape of Good Hope. Several smaller vessels were on their way to Bass's Straits, to receive skins, collected by a few individuals, who had established themselves on the isles of those Straits, to catch the marine animals that resort to them. Other ships, stronger built than those just alluded to, and manned by more numerous and daring crews, who were provided with all kinds of arms, were on the point of sailing for the western coast of America. Laden with various sorts of merchandize, these vessels were intended to carry on, by force of arms, a contraband trade on the Peruvian shores, which could not fail to prove extremely advantageous to the adventurers. Here they were preparing an expedition, to carry on a skin trade with the people of the north-west shores of America; there all hands were engaged in sending off a fleet of provision-ships to the Navigators', the Friendly, and the Society, islands, to procure for the colony a stock of salt provisions. At the same time, the intrepid Captain Flinders, after effecting a junction with his companionship, the Lady Nelson, was getting ready to continue his grand voyage round New Holland; a voyage which was soon afterwards terminated by the greatest misfortunes. In short, at this period, the harbour of Port Jackson had become familiar to the American navigators, and their flag was continually flying in it during our residence.

"All these great maritime operations gave to the place a character of importance and activity, far beyond what we expected to meet with on shores scarcely known to Europeans, even by name, and the interest we took in the scene was only equalled by our admiration.

"The population of the colony was to us a new subject of astonishment and contemplation. Perhaps there never was a more worthy object of study presented to the philosopher;—never was the influence of social institutions proved in a manner more striking and honourable to the distant country in question. Here we found united, like one family, those banditti, who had so long been the terror "of their mother country: repelled from European society, and sent off to the extremity of the globe; placed from the very hour of their exile in a state between the certainty of chastisement, and the hope of a better fate; incessantly subjected to an inspection, as inflexible as it is active, they have been compelled to abandon their anti-social manners; and the majority of them, having expiated their crimes by a hard period of slavery, have been restored to the rank which they held amongst their fellow-men. Obliged to interest themselves in the maintenance of order and justice, for the purpose of preserving the property which they have acquired; while they behold themselves in the situation of husbands and fathers, they have the most interesting and powerful motives for becoming good members of the community in which they exist.

"The same revolution, effected by the same means, has taken place amongst the women: and those who were wretched prostitutes have imperceptibly been brought to a regular mode of life, and now form intelligent and laborious mothers of families. But it is not merely in the moral character of the women that these important alterations are discoverable, but also in their physical condition, the results of which are worthy the consideration, both of the legislator and the philosopher. For example, every body knows that the common women of great capitals are in general unfruitful; at Petersburgh, and Madrid, at Paris, and London, pregnancy is a sort of phenomenon amongst persons or that description; though we are unable to assign any other cause, than a sort of insusceptibility of conception: the difficulty of researches, as to this subject, has prevented, philosophers from determining how far this sterility ought to be attributed to the mode of life of such women; and to what degree it may be modified or altered by a change of condition and manners. But both these problems are solved, by what takes place in the singular establishment that we are describing. After residing a year or two at Port Jackson, most of the English prostitutes become remarkably fruitful; and what, in my opinion, clearly proves that the effect arises much less from the climate, than from the change of manners amongst the women, is, that those prostitutes in the colony, who are permitted by the police to continue in their immoral way of life, remain barren the same as in Europe. Hence we may be permitted to deduce the important physiological result, that an excess of sexual intercourse destroys the sensibility of the female organs, to such a degree, as to render them incapable of conception; while, to restore the frame to its pristine activity, nothing is necessary but to renounce those fatal excesses.

"While we were reflecting en these numerous and interesting subjects, all the officers and principal citizens of the colony were unremitting in their assiduities towards us. Our numerous sick were received into the government hospital, where the English surgeons paid them all possible attention. Doctor Thomson, the chief physician of the colony, directed the mode of treatment with the greatest, tenderness: and whatever we were in need of, that the place could furnish, was put at our disposal. The governor-general cave us an unlimited credit on the public treasury, and our Commodore was furnished with royal printed checks, to fill up with any sum that he might wish for; and these checks, without any other security than the signature of the French commandant, were accepted by the inhabitants with a confidence highly honourable to the government of our country. Our salt provisions, spirits, and biscuits, were exhausted; but by means of these checks we obtained fresh supplies; and several times the magazines of the colony were opened to supply us with articles which our agents could not procure. Thus, by this generous relief, we were enabled to reclothe our crews, who were in want of every thing; repair our ships; purchase one, instead of that we had lost; and be completely prepared for continuing our voyage.

"At the same time, our scientific researches met with every encouragement; a guard of English soldiers was appointed expressly to protect our observatory, which, we placed on the north point of the eastern bank of Sydney Cove. The whole of the country was open to the excursions of our naturalists, and we were even permitted to wear our arms, as were the persons of our suite; while guides and interpreters were furnished us for our longest journies. In short, the English government behaved to us with such generosity that they acquired our warmest gratitude.

"The principal object of our stay at Port Jackson, was, that we might devote proper attention to every part of the surrounding country. While our crews were repairing the damages the ships had sustained, and getting in fresh supplies of provisions, the naturalists extended their researches to every branch of the physical history of this interesting country. The scurvy, which had affected all my joints with swellings and stiffness, had already begun to yield to the influence of diet and the climate; and as soon as I was able, I went down to the coast of Botany Bay, the harbour of which is situated some leagues to the south of Port Jackson. A large and commodious road leads from Sydney Town to this great bay: all the intermediate country is sandy and barren, and appears unfit for any kind of cultivation; consequently one does not meet with any European habitations. After passing the high hill, at the foot of Which is the establishment of Mr. Palmer, the country opens upon a sandy plain, which extends as far as the swampy banks of Cook's river. Various species of Hakea, Styphelia, Eucalyptus, Banksia, Embothryum, and Casuarina, grow amidst these sands, and large spaces are occupied entirely with the Xanthorea, the gigantic stalks of which grow to the height of from eighteen to twenty feet. In the distance may be perceived the smoke of a few huts, belonging to those unfortunate hordes of natives who exist on these desolate shores.

"As you approach towards Botany Bay, the land gradually sinks, till you reach the dangerous swamps formed by the brackish waters of Cook's river towards the north, and of George river to the south. These marshes are so extensive, and often so deep, that it is impossible in many parts to pass them, if you want to reach the sea. On their banks, and all along the two rivers just mentioned, vegetation is very active: a thousand species of trees and shrubs, which cover the surface of the soil, afforded to that part of the country which we occupied a delightful appearance; it was this circumstance which deceived Captain Cook, and his brave companions; for they supposed the land to be unparalleled in point of fertility. It would have been well, however, if this bay, so celebrated by those navigators, had justified the great ideas which they formed of it. Obstructed by large banks of mud, and open at the south to the easterly winds, it does not afford to vessels that security often necessary. The marshy soil in the environs being unhealthy, Commodore Phillip, after viewing Port Jackson, was soon induced to abandon Botany Bay, where only a lime kiln remains now, to make lime out of the shells that abound on this part of the coast. This part the natives call Gwea, as it belonged to the tribe of savages under Bennillong, called Gwea Gal.

"Twenty-five miles, or thereabout, to the west of Sydney Town, is the town of Rose Hill, or Paramatta, which I took the earliest opportunity of visiting: M. Bellefin, the principal physician of the Naturaliste, accompanied me. A serjeant of the New South Wales regiment acted as our guide, and was ordered by Colonel Paterson to obtain for us such facilities as we might stand in need of. The large road from Sydney to Paramatta, though not paved, is kept in good condition, and every where wide enough for three carriages to pass abreast. Bridges are here and there thrown across where the waters offer any interruption. Having been opened through vast forests never before assailed by the axe, at a distance this grand road appears like an immense avenue of foliage and verdure. A charming freshness and an agreeable shade always prevail in this continuous bower, the silence of which is interrupted only by the singing and chirping of the richly plumed parroquets and other native birds. The whole, between this and Rose Hill, is a flat, with very few exceptions. The soil becomes less barren in proportion as you recede from the sea shore. In some parts there are large spaces between the trees, covered by very fine and sweet scented grass, forming a beautiful verdant carpet, and now affording pasturage to numerous flocks of such excellent sheep, that the finest kinds of Spain and England thrive as well here as on their native soil: the English manufacturers, knowing of the superiority of the wool, pay dearer for it. This discovery will, probably, soon open to Great Britain a branch of commerce as easy as it is lucrative.

"Woods here and there open to the view, and the traveller perceives amidst them spots which have been cleared by the settlers; he discovers on them many pretty habitations, shaded by beautiful trees, and contemplates with pleasing emotions those new fields where the feeble grass of the north rises from the decay of the more powerful Eucalyptus: here with delight he sees on those distant grounds the most useful animals of his own country; the bulls frisk about with a vigour equal, or even superior, to that of the cold meadows of Ireland, while the cow gives a greater quantity of milk. The English horse also appears with the same spirit as when upon the banks of the Thames, while the European hog is improved by numerous crosses with those of the South Sea Islands. All kinds of poultry have at length succeeded, and the farm yards are stocked with different kinds of geese, turkies, pheasants, &c. several of which are preferable to the finest in Europe.

"The traveller feels additional pleasure in visiting the habitations. Beneath their agreeable roofs now live that banditti, who, but a short time before, were the terror of Europe, and who, familiar with guilt, constantly expected the punishment of death: here, now, live those rogues and pickpockets, those criminals of every kind, the refuse of the mother country, and who there appeared to increase! All these unfortunate wretches, the disgrace of their country, have become, by the most inconceivable, metamorphosis, laborious cultivators, and happy and peaceable members of their community. Indeed, murders, or robberies, are scarcely ever heard of amongst them; so that in this respect the most perfect security prevails throughout the colony; a happy consequence of laws as severe as they are beneficent.

"In order to enjoy at our ease these striking scenes, M. Bellefin and I often entered the rural habitations. We were every where received in the most obliging manner; and when we observed the tender cares of the mothers towards their children, and reflected that only a few years before these very women, destitute of every tender affection and delicate sentiment, were disgusting prostitutes, the sudden revolution in their moral conduct gave rise to reflections of the most gentle and philanthropic nature."

Having thus given an outline of the latest and most useful improvements in the colony itself, we shall now, in pursuance of the plan adopted in the first editions of the Voyage, describe those discoveries which have been made from time to time, in the immense bosom of the Southern and Pacific Ocean, by the navigators dispatched from Port Jackson at different periods to Otaheite, New Caledonia, New Ireland, Kennedy's Island, the Island of Simboo, New Zealand, &c. &c.

But as a British settlement has lately been formed at Port Dalrymple and Western Port, in Van Diemen's Land, we shall commence with a more particular account of that part of the continent than has hitherto appeared; as it may be seen that when the first British journals were published, the navigators had not succeeded in making themselves acquainted with the persons of the inhabitants, on account of their keeping themselves so carefully aloof from strangers. Monsieur Labillardière, the French navigator, in search of La Perouse, it seems, has succeeded better.

Like the original inhabitants of the coast of Botany Bay, he observes, the natives of Van Diemen's land feed upon shell fish, barnacles, &c. and it is the women's business not only to pick the shell fish from the rocks, but likewise to dive for them. They also broil a kind of sea weed, and had at first such a repugnance to any food offered them by Europeans, that they would not suffer their children even to eat the sugar given them, though they would trust them into their hands to dandle. They mostly pass the nights in the open air; but though the temperature of the climate is variable, it is observed they are not subject to inflammations of the eyes, but generally have a good sight. When sitting on the ground, some of them spread kangaroos skins under them, while others use a little pillow for resting one of their elbows, about a quarter of a yard long, covered with skin.

The singular posture of the women much surprised the Europeans who first witnessed it. When they sit on the ground, though they are for the most part entirely naked, it appears to have been a point of decorum to adopt all that possible concealment which modesty would suggest among the most refined nations.

They rub their bodies with the powder of charcoal. The men in walking frequently carry their hands resting one against the other upon their loins; or sometimes the left hand passing behind the back, and grasping the right arm about the middle.

They have some ideas of musical harmony; a great analogy between their tunes and those of the Arabs, in Asia Minor, has been observed. Two of them sing the same time at once, but always one a third above the other, forming a concord with considerable accuracy.

The black spotted paroquet scenes to be peculiar to Diemen's Cape; it does not perch like the rest, but uniformly settles on the grass from which it rises. Its feet are provided with very long claws, with scarcely any curve. Its feathers are green, spotted with black, some of the spots surrounded with small yellowish bands; and a few reddish feathers may be seen at the bottom of the beak, at the upper part. It should have been observed, that though they have some ear for music, they could not bear the sounds of a violin; but absolutely stopped their ears that they might hear no more.

Often plagued with vermin, mothers have been seen disencumbering their infants of them; but, like many of the blacks, crushing them between their teeth, if not swallowing these disagreeable insects. Apes have been observed to do the same. The women of Van Diemen's land, though they can scarcely be suspected of coquetry, have a method of concealing those external symptoms occasioned by frequent child bearing. They have the exterior skin of the lower abdomen marked with three large semicircular risings, one above the other; and in other cases are supposed to make use of the cautery in a medical way, as many of these savages had, when first seen, several marks of very recent burns on their heads.

In Van Diemen's land, as well as in many other uncultivated regions, the principal part of the labour devolves upon the women. Here they are even charged with the task of procuring food necessary for the support of their families. Near Port Dentrecasteaux, the women were observed with baskets followed by their daughters to the rocks which projected into the sea, from whence they plunged to the bottom in search of shell fish. After remaining under water twice as long as our ablest divers, they came up, and, only taking breath for a few moments, went down again repeatedly, till they had filled their baskets. Most of them having bits of wood in their hands sharpened at the ends, with these they forced the sea-ears, &c. from the rocks. They also brought up very large lobsters, but, to prevent being hurt by their claws, they always took the precaution to kill them the moment they were caught. Being cold weather at this time, it was observed, that when these women came ashore after diving, they would stay but a very little while to warm themselves, before they returned again; and this they did by standing with their faces towards the fire where the fish was roasting; while behind them other little fires were burning, for the purpose of warming them on all sides at once.

It was in vain that the French crews, when in search of La Perouse, entreated the husbands of these women to take a part in this labour. They kept themselves very comfortably about the fires, feasting on the choicest of the fish, and eating broiled fern roots. Occasionally they would take the trouble of breaking the boughs of trees, merely to prevent the fire from going out; but even this they had a most curious method of performing; for, taking hold of the sticks at each end with their hands, they bent them over their heads, as we do at the knee, till they broke. It being observed that their meals continued very long, and the Europeans being rather surprised that none of the savages had drank, they found that this was always deferred till they were quite satisfied with a quantity of food. Then the women and girls being sent to get water in vessels formed out of a strong sea weed, on their return they were observed to set it down by the men, who drank it with avidity, notwithstanding it was both muddy and stagnant.

In this part of the continent of New South Wales, nothing appeared to point out that they had any chiefs, as each family seemed to be independent, though the children were in the greatest subordination to their parents, and the women the same to their husbands. It also appeared that the women were very careful to avoid giving their husbands any occasion for jealousy.

The Commandant Dentrecasteaux suffered one of the natives to come on board the Recherche. He came up the side with an air of confidence, and examined the inside of the ship with great attention; and being taken with the resemblance between the black swans of Cape Diemen and the geese of Guinea, he asked for one, knowing it was to be eaten. Looking at the hen coops also, he was much pleased with a large cock, and, upon its being given him, he made it known by signs and gestures that it should not be long before he would broil it and eat it. Being loaded with presents, he wished to return on shore, and was immediately rowed off. An ape taken ashore with the people of the Recherche, furnished much amusement to the savages; and one of the crew taking a goat with him, this formed a subject of conversation for them a long time; and to the goat they frequently spoke as if it understood them, desiring it in terms of familiarity to sit down. In hopes of naturalizing some European animals in New Holland, the French ships, before their departure in 1793, set ashore a she goat and a young he goat, under the idea that, as they could not fail thriving on the mountains, they might be of use to future navigators, but there was no certainty that the savages might not destroy them before they had time to propagate.

In the strait of Dentrecasteaux, after the ship's departure from Rocky Bay, they sent an engineer geographer to explore the great creek which falls into this strait, in order to find out whether it had any opening into the main sea, and whether the Island of Maria was really separated from the land of New Holland, as this had not been fully ascertained neither by Marion nor even by Captain Cook.

While some of the crew sent out to catch fish were proceeding to the mouth of the strait, the flood brought down considerable quantities: several species of the ray of a very large size were caught, some of them weighing upwards of two hundred and sixty pounds.

The savages in this neighbourhood were found to be as destitute of clothes as those before described. But it caused some surprise to see most of them holding the extremity of the prepuce with the left hand; possibly from a bad habit, as it was not found to be general. Their joy was expressed by loud bursts of laughter, at the same time they carried their hands to their heads, and performed a quick tapping with their feet to the ground, while their countenances shewed they were well pleased. These savages well understood the language of the other natives at Rocky Bay, &c. and one of them seemed to be a complete beau. He was certainly a fine figure, though not above the middle size; he was tattoed with astonishing regularity, and his hair, plaistered with grease, was well powdered with ochre. One of these natives also remembered Captain Bligh when he anchored here in 1792.

All the savages in Van Diemen's land seem entirely ignorant of the use of the bow; the spear, if such it may be called, is their only means of defence. Almost all of them upon the coast are tatooed with raised points, in two lines, one over the other, something resembling the shape of a horseshoe; others made straight lines, and in many the navel seemed puffed up and very prominent. They lived upon fish as well as the other inhabitants of Cape Diemen, and their appearance furnished a denial of the common notion, that persons confining themselves to this food are subject to diseases of the skin. Nothing of this kind was observed among them.

After five days absence the small vessel which the commandant had dispatched to make discoveries in the great creek, returned, and decidedly ascertained having seen the channel, that the Island of Maria was separated from the main land; he also discovered several bays not described before.

When Captain Cook was in these parts, it appears that he left a sow and a boar for the same purpose as the French navigator afterwards left the he and she goat. The latter thought they might probably multiply to such a degree as to bring about a total change in the manners of the inhabitants, so as to make them a pastoral people, and thus quit the sea coast without regret. The women then would no longer be exposed to be devoured by sharks, inconsequence of diving in search of food. Unhappily, no person that has visited Van Diemen's Land since Captain Cook has ever seen the least trace of the animals he left there with the most benevolent intentions.

These were the sentiments entertained of Van Diemen's land some few years since: how much it had improved between that period and 1807 with respect to game in particular, the following extract of a letter from a gentleman resident there to his friend in London will sufficiently evince.

"Dear Sir,

"ALTHOUGH not much of a huntsman before I left Europe, yet I have sense enough to know you have no animal now left that can give you the least idea of sporting in Van Diemen's Land. Nevertheless, I have heard much of the fatigues of the chase, of hard days' riding, dashing leaps, &c. &c. yet these are mere pigmy difficulties, when compared with those of the bush in our new world.

"The only animals I recollect you to have now left as objects of sport, are the hare and fox, with (although but very seldom) the stag; and in pursuit of these innumerable hounds, horses, and huntsmen, are joined, and, if one solitary brush is obtained, the day is thought to end victoriously. What, then, would be thought among you, of one man, with two dogs, often procuring in a few hours, and bringing home on his shoulders, many miles, one hundred and fifty pounds weight of solid flesh food, which I declare my own huntsman has often done? and I have many times had three cwt. of meat hanging in my yard at one time*, which I assure you, if properly dressed, it is impossible to distinguish from beef, and in its gelatinous quality it far exceeds the ox, for the tail, head, and feet, make a soup equal to the finest turtle; and it is here as uncommon to sit down to table without a tureen of this rich soup as the first dish, as it would be in England to eat dinner without bread: in short, during the interim of our stock increasing sufficiently in this new settlement, to enable us to kill with propriety, the kangaroo is our principal support; and as all nations have, ab origine, done before us, so we may be said to live by the chase but I must be understood, this chase is not unattended with difficulties of the extremest nature, with expence, the severest fatigue, and even danger.

[* "You will be surprised at the necessity of having such a quantity of animal food; but in this provision consisted our only means of paying the men working on our farms for their labour."]

"In the first place, the labour of a man to hunt four dogs, If of any merit, is worth 40l. per annum; our dogs, if of good breed, cannot be purchased for less than 20l. 25l. and 30l. the pair, and, to hunt with any continued certainty, you must have at least four, and often more, some gentlemen having seven or eight, although more than three are rarely ever hunted at one time; and among these, every person must have at least one dog that will what we call shew, that is, the kangaroos are so uncommonly fleet, that nothing but the swiftest greyhound can equal them; they are of course seldom killed in sight of the huntsman; and in the wild country, forming only, on all sides, one impenetrable forest of immense gum trees, and the deepest underwood, Interspersed nine months of the year in all directions with runs of water, and with the number of fallen trees that, it must be supposed, have given way to old time in 6000 years, the value of the dogs becomes most evident. After having run a considerable distance from the view of those hunting them, they will return (frequently after a lapse of two hours); and if they have killed, one chosen hound will intuitively conduct his keeper through an almost impassable brush, for miles, to the exact spot the reward of their vigour lies in, and if it was not for this quality of the dogs bred in this country, nine out of ten of the kangaroos killed would be lost. The chase is so severe, that the strongest dog cannot hunt more than three times a week, and he is fortunate if he escapes without being torn in the most dangerous manner, many of our finest animals being cut to death by the claws of the dying kangaroo.

"I have hunted my own dogs, and nothing I have heard of the amusement can be placed in competition with it. I once laid three superior dogs on an immense forester, and notwithstanding, from his entangling himself in a brush, they soon haunched him, yet, although the man with me exerted all his strength in beating him with a club, he was not overcome for full fifteen minutes, snorting the whole time, with one of the strongest dogs in the colony at his throat, and the two others seizing him as often as his accursed claws would allow them.

"It is certainly the grandest sport of the field that can be imagined, at the same time the most interesting, and the most dangerous. In this instance I paid dearly for the victory: my two best dogs were so severely mangled, that I was obliged to leave them panting in their blood, till I could send for them; and although the kangaroo weighed 137lb. yet I would not, for twenty of his weight, have laid up my dogs so seriously as they were. The chest of one was cut completely across, and so deep, that his lungs could be plainly seen, added to which, his right side was as, severely laid open by one kick. The other had the whole under part of his belly deeply gashed, the scrotum entirely cat away, and his mouth enlarged from nearly ear to ear! Yet these dogs, in five weeks, actually were again more savage, and as vigorous as ever!

"The fatigue these faithful, and to us invaluable animals, will undergo, is incredible; and when their feet are so sore and cut with hard running that they may literally be said, in the old phrase, not to have a leg to stand on, they are then often hunted in boots and shoes, that is, with covering for their feet made of leather, or of the kangaroo skin; and I have at this moment one of these veterans running with these shoes, a collar of leather covering a neck so often torn, that he cannot now be risked without it; and a skin so cut and sewed up in all directions, that, from no hair growing on the broad cicatrices of the many severe wounds he has had, he appears at a distance an animal of a distinct species.

"The kangaroos here are divided principally into two classes, the one called brush kangaroos, the other foresters. The first run from 15 to 50 and 60 lbs. the latter from 40 lbs. even to 170 lbs. The weight of the tail is in general one pound in ten of the whole body; thus the tail of a kangaroo of one hundred weight will weigh about 11 lbs. the whole of which is one mass of cartilaginous muscle, and makes, as I have said, the richest and most palatable soup that can be tasted, forming, when cold, the strongest jelly. It is this weighty appendage to their bodies that materially assists them in running, by striking it on the ground, thus assisting the spring they make with their hind feet, for their fore claws are too short to be of any service.

"The skins of these foresters are very valuable for shoes, and make as fine upper leathers as can be desired; and had we any manufacture here, the fur would also be of moment. It is rare that any part but the hind quarters is preserved for food, the fore quarters being given with the entrails to the dogs, with which it is necessary they should have an ample portion of ground maize, and, indeed, their keep is altogether expensive; but this they amply repay. I however expect that the persecuted kangaroo, which daily becomes more scarce, will, as was the case at Port Jackson, forsake the ground contiguous to any of our camps, and retire so far up the mountains, that, the difficulties of procuring them will make it cheaper to kill our mutton.

"Of birds, we have also abundance of sport here; we have teal, quails, ducks, red birds, water hens, herons, and black swans; the latter of which we most generally run down in our boats, when they are moulting their wing feathers. Parrots, which are capital eating, and small birds, are innumerable, and we have also a most beautiful feathered pigeon, called the Bronze Wing, from the similarity of the plumage to rich bronze. In appearance they rather resemble the dove than the English pigeon, but cannot be distinguished in flavour from the wood-pigeon of Great Britain.—I have purposely first mentioned the small species of our feathered tribe, that I may the more surprise you with the colossal Emu.

"This bird, which exactly resembles the cassowary, we catch here in great numbers, but it requires the fleetest of our dogs, which are frequently distanced: they weigh from 40 lbs. to 100 lbs. and will kill our strongest greyhounds by one blow of their talons. The chase of them, in the picturesque part of the country they are found in, is a sight beyond my description, and can only remind me of what I have thought the romantic tales of Vaillant. Sometime after our first establishment, being with a party on an excursion up the river, we suddenly came on a beautiful valley, not before profaned by an European eye, in which were grazing seven of these majestic birds: we had three dogs; each fortunately singled out a separate object, and all, after uncommon running, killed in sight, as an immense plain was before us, and we were on an eminence; but the dogs were so exhausted and bruised in the contest, that we were unable to run them for some time. These three birds weighed 220lbs. The flesh and fat cannot possibly be distinguished in appearance from beef, which it resembles in flavour even more than the kangaroo, and is much esteemed with us: it is also received in the store, in the above proportion. I have had ten pounds of solid fat from one bird of 50lbs. which, when rendered down, and well boiled in water, is equal to the finest butter.

"The most sure method the dogs have of killing the emu, is to seize them by the neck, in which they are extremely sensible; and some of our old hounds are so well aware of this, that they will often take two in one running. I think, from our ravages, we gradually accomplish the effect of driving the natives from all the parts contiguous to any of our camps, which, as they are treacherous in the extreme, and here as intractable, is much to be desired, if our residence here is to be desired. Twenty years has had little effect in taming them at Fort Jackson, their natural ferocity being aided by the experience of their more civilized neighbours. They often spear our dogs, and attempt to pay us the same compliment, and not unfrequently will waddy our huntsmen, when they have not been inclined to part with what kangaroo they may have killed.

"Having now sufficiently put to issue your patience, I shall conclude by assuring you, the general tergiservatia of this part of the world has not altered the esteem which I possessed in a less rude clime of yours.

"Van Diemen's Land, May 1807."

As a proof of the utility of the kangaroo in this infant settlement, it seems that, owing to a recent temporary disappointment in receiving the government supplies, the hind quarters of that animal were received into his majesty's store, at sixpence per pound, to victual the troops and convicts, in the proportion of 7 lbs. for seven of salt beef, or 4 lbs. of pork. Within the course of six months, upwards of 15,000lbs. weight had been tendered, although only four gentlemen had hunted for the purpose. This substitute for salt provisions, there can be little doubt, has been the sole cause of keeping the scurvy away from the people. Otherwise, instead of being in such health as to make sickness almost unknown, the people and the settlers that have since been much increasing, might have been literally exterminated by those privations which inseparably attach to those who may be concerned for the first two or three years in forming a new colony.

It should be observed, that in a very short period of time, all apprehensions of a scarcity, even in Van Diemen's land, must vanish, as there are now in the vicinity of the British settlements very large tracts of the finest tillage and grazing land on that side the line.

Discoveries by the Nautilus; Kennedy's Island—Dexter's Groupe —Almagan—Pagan's island, &c. &c.

CAPTAIN SIMPSON, of the Nautilus, discovered in south lat. 11 deg. 17 min. and E. long. l67 deg. 58 min. an island which he called Kennedy's Island. From its beautiful appearance, and its being well peopled, he was of opinion that it would prove valuable, as it produced abundance of hogs.

"The natives", he says, "are savage, artful, and treacherous upon Duff's or Dexter's Groupe, which obliged me to fire upon them (a necessary precaution to those who may wish to land upon them hereafter). Upon the island Disappointment, I landed some fowls, sowed several sorts of seeds, and put some plants in the ground. In two previous voyages I passed this island without the precaution of looking for land, as I am sure many other navigators have done. We found upon it the remains of a very large lower mast next the keel, which led us to think some large Spanish ship had been wrecked upon it long since, because greatly decayed. There is scarcely an island in the whole groupe but has natives upon it; and when our distance sunk the reefs below the horizon, the natives as they crossed from one island to another presented the appearance of a regiment of soldiers marching round the horizon on the surface of the sea. All the islands like these are exceedingly low, and shew at first a few scattered trees above the horizon, which will demonstrate their danger to a seaman. I am fully persuaded not one hundredth part of them are known to navigators. They appeared to us to be formed of coral and sand, lightly covered with a thin black soil: the stones on the shore had the appearance of being burnt, being black, porous, and light.

Description of the Island of Almagan.

"Running down along the north part of this island to Howel Bay," the same navigator observes, "I much regret that commercial interest forbids my proceeding as far as Urac, as connecting and examining this chain of islands is an object of some consequence to those who navigate these seas: all that I have seen of them are extremely fertile and pleasant.

"The Island of Pagan naturally produces, in an uncommon abundance, Papaw-apples, sugar-cane, a nut which eats much like an almond, and is enclosed in a light green rhynd, and a root which at Sandwich Islands is named peca, which grows and looks very much like a potatoe, excepting that the stalk is very different.

"Being considered as a poison by the Owyeeans, they prepare the root by washing, after which they mash and mix it up with fresh water to the consistence of butter. They then let it settle, and draw the water off. After undergoing this operation several times they set it in the sun, when, after the last water is drawn off, it dries soon and resembles flour. It may then be cooked the same as sago, to which some people give it the preference. It makes a very good substitute for bread.

"This island produces a number of plantain or banana trees, and cocoa nuts. In addition to these we have added, by planting and sowing in Howel's Bay, in different parts along the shore, water and musk-melons, with yams, landed and set in a state of vegetation, cabbage plants, and European potatoes; we also landed a male and female kid about six weeks old, also two cocks and two hens.

"Mr. John Howel, in the Lady Washington, in 1786, landed some hogs here; and, though none of this species have been seen since, there can be no doubt of their existence, as the print of their feet has always been seen. And some of our party thought they saw the print of the feet of some animal as large as a horse, and which, judging from the dung, subsisted upon grass. The birds are of the aquatic kind. That species of land crab named soldier in the West Indies are also here. Fish abound, and sharks are numerous near the shore. For a landing, Howel's Bay should always have the preference. I would never recommend anchoring near the shore unless a strong trade wind and clear weather should warrant it safe: in that case I would trust it. As far as I witnessed, the westerly winds are always indicated by heavy clouds, light variable airs, and unsettled weather.

"The north mountain burns very much; the southern ones just smoke, but very little. Having stored the ship with cocoa nuts, fire-wood, crabs, and Papaw-apples, and accomplished our business, we hoisted the boat in at sunset, and made sail for China.

"Fresh water is to be had here very sweet and very good."

Voyage to Ulitea, and Mangea, an unknown Island.

THIS we learn by a letter from Sydney, July 17, 1808, was performed by the Mercury, colonial schooner, Thomas Reiby, master, from Otaheite, who sailed from Sydney on the 10th of December, 1807, in company with the King George. They went together to the Bay of Islands for refreshments, and separated the 3d of January, in latitude—33° 20'; the King George bound for the Fejees. On the 24th of February she came to anchor in the bay of Matavai; and, having completed her cargo among the islands, in two months, on the 20th of April took her departure from Ulitea; on her return to Port Jackson, made Norfolk Island the 1st of June, and left the 6th.—She found the American ship Amethyst, Captain Smith, at the Islands; from whom she fortunately received a supply of salt—that which she had taken from hence having sunk a full third part from its original quantity; which, but for the circumstance of her obtaining an accidental supply, must have been productive of serious disappointment to the owners. We are sorry to learn, that Captain Smith had lost several of his people among the islands, who deserted his ship from an inclination of living among the natives; to whose friendly disposition toward the English Mr. Reiby was particularly indebted for the accomplishment of his object in so short a period.

The Mercury was hove down at Ulitea; and, upon this occasion, was moored, as the chiefs affirmed, to the very tree, which had, upon the like occasion, been made, choice of by Captain Cook, for heaving down the Resolution; and to bring to recollection the more strongly that great circumnavigator's visit to those islands, a chief, named Mahee, produced a medallion of his Majesty, which his father had received as a present from Captain Cook; which, after some solicitation, he at length gave to Mr. Reiby, the reversed side representing two ships, encircled by the words—Resolution and Adventure, MDCCLXXII. This medal is considerably larger than a crown piece, and was originally gilt; but which, from the length of time, being thirty-six years, is now nearly worn off.

By the order of Laboor, the head chief at Ulitea, a store-house, 100 feet in length and 50 in breadth, was built for the reception of the Mercury's stores, the building of which was completed in a day and a half; so numerous were the workmen.

Upon leaving the island, the vessel stood towards Mangea, an island to the south-west of Ulitea, the people of which seen) perfect strangers to every race of, people but their own. In their dress and colour they differ little from the Friendly Islanders, but owing, perhaps, to the total want of intercourse with civilized visitors, their manners are ferocious, as their aspects are forbidding. These people are said to be much above the ordinary size, robust, and very muscular. On the Mercury's approach, fifty or sixty canoes went out to meet her, each canoe having only one man in it, armed with a long spear and several short ones, As soon as she came to, which was about two miles from the shore, they went alongside, and entreated the hands to get nearer, which, together with their repeated efforts to decoy them into their canoes, produced a suspicion of their views, and, in consequence, the schooner's people got ready to defend themselves in case of attack.

Their numbers prodigiously increasing, every precaution was used to prevent any from getting on board: they appeared to have no kind of knowledge of fire arms, which they saw without emotion. They demanded every moveable they saw on deck, and were understood, as their language differed little, if at all, from that of the Otaheitans. The pigs on board they insisted upon having; frequently praised the size of the Mercury, and requested lo know whose canoe she was. But at length becoming impatient, a number grappled with the bowsprit rigging, and endeavoured to pull her in towards the shore, while others were endeavouring, by main strength, to pull the bolts from the sides, for the sake of the iron, with the value of which metal they were doubtless made acquainted by Captain Cook.

As they had not any articles for barter, and the Mercury had not expended the whole of her trade, Mr. Reiby offered to purchase some of their spears, as they were ingeniously carved; but none of them would they upon any account part with. At length they began vehemently to threaten the people on board, if they continued to object to going on shore: many had spears in their hands; and one, who had taken a long spear up, with much seeming composure, while speaking to a seaman in the main chains, of the name of David Clarke, instead of offering it for barter, as was expected to be his intention, made a sudden plunge at the belly of Clarke; who received the spear through his right hand, and into the left groin, about an inch. The unfortunate man fell upon receiving the wound, and was with difficulty got in. A general disposition of attack was now manifested, and self-defence became a duty:—two musketoons were immediately discharged among the foremost; and we are not sorry to observe, that the whole contents of one were lodged in the body of Clarke's unprovoked assailant. Their consternation at the noise they heard may easily be conjectured: they staid not to examine the cause of the explosion; but, taking to their paddles, in a few minutes reached the shore, where an immense number were assembled; and the Mercury took leave of this little inhospitable island, which is in about 21° 38' S. and 158° 20' E. long.

It is much to be lamented, that even the Friendly Islanders should still retain their cruel custom of sacrificing human beings to their superstitions. On this subject we copy the following extract from a journal on board the Mercury:—"10th of March, at two p. m. saw the natives at Hubaine murder a man, as a sacrifice, and hang him up in a basket, in a range with four others, who had suffered the same fate.—12th of March, saw a canoe take in the murdered bodies at Hubaine, to be conveyed to Ulitea, a distance of eight or ten leagues, there to be buried in their grand morai, or place of worship."

On the 14th of March, forty or fifty canoes, with twenty to thirty men in each, arrived from other parts of Huhaine, to the bay, at which the Chief Omal commands, to hold a consultation on the subject of the Bolabolams refusing to pay their yearly tribute, which was usually paid in swine; and which refusal, it was supposed, would be productive of an immediate war.

Voyage from Port Jackson to Prince of Wales's Island, New Caledonia, &c.

ON Sunday 5th of May, 1803, we descried the extensive reef mentioned by Captain Cook as lying off the south-east end of New Caledonia. During that and the following day we ran before a fresh breeze along the reef, apparently extending all along the western side of this large island. A very high mountain which we passed on the 16th received the name of Mount Buffalo. An opening in the reef, one mile broad, we found leading to a very extensive harbour. The extent of the harbour, not less than eighteen or twenty miles, struck us with astonishment, particularly after entering it through such a narrow passage.

A number of islands of various forms and sizes diversified this sheet of water, the whole surrounded by chains of stupendous mountains rising one behind the other, as far as the eye could reach; the tops of many of them hidden in the clouds. Being evening, the bases of the islands were softened by the setting sun, and the whole was a solemn, silent and majestic scene, and impressed the mind with the grandeur of sequestered nature.

"Watering was the purpose for which we came into this harbour; however, at day-light the next morning a canoe was seen paddling towards a small island that lay about a mile from the ship, when two natives got out of it, and seated themselves on a rock. After gazing at the ship for some time, one of them stood up and repeatedly called out Cooe, at which we were not a little surprised, it being the same word which the natives of Port Jackson make use of as a friendly invitation. Being answered from the ship, they returned to their canoe, and were soon joined by two others. They were tall, stout, good looking men, with high foreheads, and cheerful, open countenances, in colour nearly black. Some printed cottons and a few showy articles being given to them from the cabin windows, they gave some fine mullet and some yams in return, but could not be prevailed upon to come on board, till a small piece of red serge was held up to view from one of the gangways, which they were so eager to possess, that three of them ventured up the side of the ship without further hesitation One of them we supposed to be a chief, from the peculiarity of his head dress. This was a sort of cap, made of very fine bark, projecting very far behind from the head, bound tight round it with a fillet, and adorned on one side by a bunch of feathers, which appeared to be those of a heron. This man was of a lighter colour, and taller, than the others. A lady on board tied a broad pink sash across his shoulders, which pleased him so much, that he sat by her all the time they were at breakfast, of which, however, he could not be persuaded to partake.

"On Saturday the 21st several canoes of a considerably larger size than any yet seen, came off to us. The people in them appeared to be of a larger make than those we had seen before. Their projecting brows and ferocious countenances gave an idea of cannibalism, and they did not seem to be of the same race as those before described.

"The savages of this quarter use large clubs which they call bagos, made of various materials: these and their spears they were willing to barter for trifles.

"Soon after this a double canoe, the first of that kind seen there, made its appearance and came alongside the ship with several articles to barter. A complete platform was laid across the two hulls, on which were their fires; and by two round holes in a plank fixed at each end of the platform, it appeared that through each of them a paddle was introduced, with which they sculled in a perpendicular direction.

"These savages, like most others, proved to be thieves. Such was their rage for small pieces of cloth and linen, blue, scarlet, and crimson, that at length, attempting to steal the colours of the ship, it was found necessary to fire upon them.

"While some of them were on board, they were particularly attentive to the flute. They also listened attentively to a song which a lady sung, and joined chorus with her in the tune of 'tink a tink'. Their voices were reckoned soft and melodious. The dangerous reef first mentioned extends three hundred miles along the south-west coast of New Caledonia."

On the 16th of July pumice stones were discovered floating on the sea as far as the eye could reach: two volcanic islands were known to exist about 100 miles from where this observation was made. To some concussion in those islands, it was attributed that the sea was violently agitated. The moon was obscured by black heavy clouds; vivid flashes of lightning with loud peals of thunder accompanied the rain, which fell in torrents. Sheets of pumice stone almost stopped the ship's way, which laboured through them with a crashing noise.

A group of islands (the Admiralty Islands) on one side, and two immense rocks rising high out of the midst of the water on the other; as great a sea as is usually met with in the Bay of Biscay, and a current so strong as to set the ship upwards of forty miles to the northward in one day, excited no small alarm. In the same latitude, and perhaps under similar circumstances, it is thought the two vessels under M. La Perouse, viz. the Boussole and Astrolabe, perished with all their people, or fell into the hands of the savages, particularly as the Sirius English frigate, navigating here in 1790, had seen savages dressed in the uniforms of French marines, and other persons who wore European stuffs, and different pieces of cloth in their dress. These people also hung out a white flag as the signal for the English to approach; but though Captain Hunter was desirous of so doing, he found it impracticable on account of the contrary currents and winds, and the danger to which he must have been exposed by the numerous shoals. These strong currents, Captain Hunter told Monsieur Breaudet at the Cape of Good Hope, had carried the Sirius six hundred miles to the eastward in the space often days, and he seemed fully persuaded that the European dresses which he saw in the boats from the Admiralty Islands were collected from the vessels formerly under the command of La Perouse.

M. de la Perouse was at Botany Bay with his two vessels in 1788, bound on a voyage of discovery, and Captain Hunter had often seen the French navigator, and had been upon terms of intimacy with him.

But to return to the vessel whose voyage we have been describing. In a violent gale in passing between the islands of Bourou and Manipa, the water suddenly changed its colour to a milky whiteness. This phenomenon is said to occur twice a year in the seas round Banda, and sometimes it reaches, apparently diversified with black stripes, as far as Amboyna itself. It is dangerous at these limes for small boats to navigate it.

The Islands of Simboo, New Ireland, &c.

THE first of these is one which in Bouganville's Straits is called the Brothers. Some of the inhabitants, when an English vessel was passing in June 1803, put off in a canoe, bringing with them bread fruit, cocoa nuts, and some ornaments made of tortoise-shell and mother of pearl, for which they wanted hammers and hatchets in return. These people and their canoes formed a striking contrast with those of New Caledonia: the whiteness of the teeth of the latter was unsullied, but the islanders of Simboo, constantly chewing the beetle nut, had their teeth as black as their skins, which were some shades darker than those of New Caledonia. Many of the former, too, had their hair powdered with some excessively white substance: their eyebrows being filled with it, and circles drawn round their eyes and mouth, they looked at a distance as if they wore masks. They also wore small shells, like beads, as bandeaus, necklaces, ear-rings, and girdles of the same, with bracelets of pearl round their arms and legs. Their weapons are spears, bows and arrows; the former and the latter jagged on each side with notches like teeth.

The island of Simboo bore the appearance of a garden in high preservation. Even the ascents were covered with cocoa nut, bread fruit and banana tree, down to the water's edge, while a fine aromatic smell came wafted with the breeze very reviving, as the weather had been excessively hot for some days. The dexterity of the inhabitants here in thieving was such, that they fairly run up the sides of the ship without any difficulty, and one of them even snatched up two bayonets lying upon the quarter deck in the presence of several officers and swam off. No boat has ever been seen that could overtake one of their canoes. Their dexterity in the water is truly astonishing. One of these savages even seemed disposed to have siezed a child about ten years of age, the son of the gunner, and to have jumped overboard with him, but his design was discovered before he could put it into execution.

The islands that lie contiguous to Simboo are called Bellala, Ganunga, Peteranna, Sappa and Java. Solomon's islands were seen next, and afterwards Bouganville's.

By the 5th of July, the vessel was off New Ireland and the islands of Bournaud and Oraison. The canoes used here seemed to be hollowed out of trees, like those of New Caledonia. The natives are large and athletic, of a dark copper colour, and entirely naked. One of them was observed to have a large human arm bone fixed as a handle to a spear, with six rows of human teeth round it. Their bushy hair is cut in the form of a helmet; the centre part, from the neck to the forehead, loaded with a red powder resembling brick dust. One side of the face is nearly covered with a yellow composition like thick plaister, and the other with one of white.

Off the extreme west point of New Ireland, it appears there are numerous islands of various beautiful shapes, covered with trees, mostly cocoa nuts, none of which are laid down in the charts of M. Bouganville: but this is easily accounted for; that navigator having sailed at a considerable distance from the shore, whilst on the contrary the English vessel from New South Wales coasted the whole length of New Ireland, within a few miles of it.


Captain Bligh.

AMONG those persons who have rendered themselves conspicuous through any of the connections they have had with this colony. Captain William (late Governor) Bligh is certainly one of the most distinguished. The first event which brought him into public notice was when he had the command of the Bounty, in which he sailed from England in the autumn of 1787 on a voyage to the Society Islands, for bread-fruit trees, in order to cultivate them in our West India islands. Having completed the object of her voyage, the Bounty quitted Otaheite on the 11th of April, 1789, and was pursuing her course across the Pacific Ocean, towards the Moluccas, when on the 28th of the same month, at day-break, Captain Bligh was siezed in his cabin by a part of the crew, and, with eighteen others, mostly officers, forcibly put into the long boat with a very scanty portion of provisions and water. In hopes of making some addition to their stock, these people in the boat put back to one of the Friendly Islands, where, being attacked by the natives, who killed one of the crew and wounded several others, they determined upon steering their course to Timor, a Dutch settlement, where they arrived alter a tedious and most distressing passage of forty-six days in a crazy open boat, without even an awning to defend them from the rain which fell almost incessantly forty days out of the forty-six. Added to this, a heavy sea and squally weather enhanced their misery. But having received from the Dutch governor at Timor every necessary succour, the crew were sent from thence to Batavia. Captain Bligh arrived in England in March following. The mutineers, then said to be twenty-five in number, were headed by one Christian Fletcher, the master's mate, and stood away, as it was supposed, for Otaheite. However, for a number of years, as no kind of intelligence whatever was received either of the Bounty or its mutinous crew, it was generally supposed that both had been lost. In a word, the fate of Christian Fletcher and the rest of the mutineers of the Bounty had remained a mystery almost twenty years, when it seemed to be reserved for an American, a Captain Folgar, of Boston, to throw a light upon this dark transaction. Writing from Valperaiso, under the date of October 10, 1808, he relates, that upon landing at Pitcairn's Island, or Incarnation of Quiros, in lat. 25 deg. 2 min. long. 130 deg, by lunar observation, he found there an Englishman by the name of Alexander Smith, the only person remaining of nine that escaped in his Majesty's late ship the Bounty, Captain W. Bligh. Smith relates that after getting Captain Bligh in the boat, Christian, the leader of the mutiny, took the command of the ship and went to Otaheite, where great part of the crew left it, except himself (Smith) and seven others, who each took wives and six Otaheitan men as servants, and shortly after arrived at this island (Quiros), where they run the ship on shore and broke her up. This was in 1790. Four years afterwards a great jealousy breaking out among the Otaheitans, they revolted and killed every Englishman except himself, whom they severely wounded in the neck with a pistol ball. The same night the widows of the deceased Englishmen rose and put to death the whole of the Otaheitans, leaving Smith the only man alive upon the island, with eight or nine women and several small children. When he recovered, he applied himself to tilling the ground, so that it now produces plenty of yams, cocoa nuts, bananas, plantains, hogs and poultry in abundance. Some of the children of the mutineers are now grown up men and women, the whole population amounting to thirty-five, who acknowledge Smith as father and commander of them all. They all speak English, and have been educated by him, as Cap. Folgar relates, in a religious and moral way. Christian Fletcher, it is said, became insane soon after he reached the island, and threw himself off the rocks into the sea. The island is badly supplied with water, and, having no anchorage for ships, was thought to have been chosen by the mutineers as a place of safety. Smith gave Capt. Folgar a chronometer made by Kendall, which was taken from him by the governor of Juan Fernandez.

But to return to Captain Bligh. Being found to be an active and skilful officer, we soon found him again employed in the South seas; and when Monsieur Labillardière was on his voyage in search of La Perouse, he saw on the shore of Adventure Bay several inscriptions engraved on trunks of trees, by which, he says, he learned that Captain Bligh had been there in February 1792, when upon his voyage to the Society Islands for bread-fruit trees, which he was to carry to the English colonies in the West Indies lying between the tropics. This was Captain Bligh's second voyage in the Providence sloop.

Bligh had with him two botanists, who sowed, at a little distance from the shore, cresses, a few acorns, celery, &c. Three young fig trees, two pomegranate trees, and a quince tree, which the English planted, were likewise found; but one tree had perished, because the following inscription, found on the trunk of a large tree near the spot, mentioned seven:

"Near this tree Captain William Bligh planted seven fruit trees 1792 Messrs S and W botanists".

Other inscriptions were couched in nearly similar terms. They all, M. Labillardière observed, "displayed the same marks of deference which the English botanists paid the commander of their ship, by putting only the initial letters of their own names, and expressing that the captain himself had sowed and planted the various vegetable productions which he had carried from Europe;" but, be added, "I am much inclined to doubt whether Bligh was very sensible of the honour which the botanists were desirous of paying him."

But, waving the opinion of the French navigator, it is evident that his services in the new settlement have been considered of sufficient importance to raise him to the arduous appointment of governor, in which he continued a considerable period. And it was not till some serious difference occurred between him and Lieutenant Governor Paterson that we again heard of the former gentleman, by means of a proclamation issued by the Governor W. Paterson, Esq. in the Sydney Gazette for Sunday, March 26, 1809, charging him with a breach of the peace, &c.

Notwithstanding the plausibility of Captain Bligh's Narrative which he published in England, relative to the Bounty, and (he particular conduct of Christian Fletcher, Monsieur Labillardière seems to differ very much with him. Respecting these mutineers, he says, "We learned that the Pandora English frigate, Captain Edwards, had since been at Society Islands, where they had siezed fourteen of the mutineers. Four of them afterwards made their escape when that vessel was run aground off Norfolk Island. The ringleader of the mutineers. Christian, had escaped with nine others to another island, and carried several of the natives with him. One of the officers of the Pandora, lately arrived at the Cape, assured us that Bligh had behaved very ill to Christian, and that an abuse of authority on the side of the captain was the cause of all his subsequent misfortunes. Christian, though master of the vessel, had been maltreated according to Captain Bligh's orders, as if he had been a common sailor of the lowest rank. If this be the fact. Captain Bligh disguises the truth when he asserts that he had always treated him with the greatest liberality.

Lieutenant Riou.

To the instance of Captain Bligh, &c. we may still add what will appear singular in the fate of another naval character who has been connected with the new colony; viz. Lieutenant Riou, commander of his Majesty's ship Guardian, bound with stores and provisions for the settlement at Port Jackson in 1790, when in the course of their voyage from the Cape of Good Hope they fell in with an island, or rather a mountain of ice, twice as high as the mast head; with which getting encumbered, the ship received so much damage that the greatest part of the crew took to their boats; one of which, after encountering the greatest hardships, was taken by a French ship, and the crew landed at the Cape of Good Hope.

The Guardian remained for some days in the same state as when the boats left her at the mercy of the winds and waves, being without a rudder, and every instant in danger of being swallowed up in the yawning gulph beneath them; but as Lieutenant Riou, with that true spirit of enterprize and heroism which has so frequently distinguished the British sailor, could never be persuaded to leave the vessel, at length the few, by their united efforts, disengaged the ship, and she was providentially enabled to make her way to the Cape of Good Hope.

Lieutenant Edward Riou, being afterwards made captain of the Amazon frigate, at length, as his monument in St. Paul's Cathedral, with Captain Robert Moss of the Monarch, expresses it, "fell gloriously fighting for their country in the memorable attack on Copenhagen, under the command of the late Vice Admiral Lord Nelson, on the first of April 1801."

Messrs. Muir, Margarot, Skirving, and Palmer.

Mr. Barrington, in his History of New South Wales, has barely noticed the escape of Mr. Thomas Muir, one of the persons sent to that country for sedition in 1795 with Messrs. Gerald, Margarot, and Skirving. He took the advantage of the departure of the Otter for America, leaving a letter in which he said that, in withdrawing, he conceived he had only asserted his freedom. However, from an inhabitant of the colony, we have received the following description and character of Mr. Muir's three colleagues, all equally sentenced to New South Wales.

"Of Mr. Gerald, I beg leave to say that not even elegant manners, great abilities, with a happy mode of placing them in the best point of view, and the gifts of nature matured by education, could save him from, landing an exile (to call him by no worse a name) on a barbarous shore, where the few who were civilized must pity, while they admired him. And, I am sorry to say, he arrived In a very weak and impaired state of health.

"Mr. Gerald did not recover the shock which his constitution had suffered. At three in the morning of the 16th (of March) he breathed his last. A consumption which accompanied him from England, and which all his wishes and efforts to shake off could not overcome, at length brought him to that period when, perhaps, his strong enlightened mind must have perceived how full of vanity and vexation of spirit were the busiest concerns of this world; and into what a narrow limit was now to be thrust that frame which but of late trod firmly in the walk of life, elate and glowing with youthful hope, glorying in being a martyr to the cause of Freedom, and considering as an honour that exile which brought him to an untimely grave. He was buried in the garden of a little spot of ground which he had purchased at Farm Cove.

"He was followed in three days after by another victim to the same opinions, Mr. William Skirving. A dysentery was the apparent cause of his death, but his heart was broken. In the hope of receiving remittances from England, which might enable him to proceed with spirit and success in farming, of which he appeared to have a thorough knowledge, he had purchased from different persons, who had ground to sell, about one hundred acres of land adjacent to the town of Sydney.

"He soon found that a farm near the sea-coast was of no great value. His attention and his efforts to cultivate the ground were of no avail. Remittances he received none: he contracted some little debts, and found himself neglected by that party for whom he had sacrificed the dearest connexions in life,——a wife and family; and finally yielded to the pressure of this accumulated weight.

"Among us, he was a pious, honest, worthy character. In this settlement his political principles never manifested themselves; but all his solicitude seemed to be, to evince himself the friend of human nature.—Requiescat in pace!"

Bruce, an Englishman, married to a Princess of New Zealand.

Another instance of a remarkable character connected with this rising colony we have in the following accounts from Calcutta written in May 1809.

"George Bruce, son of John Bruce, foreman and clerk to Mr. Wood, distiller, at Limehouse, was born in the parish of Ratcliffe-highway, in 1779. In 1789 he entered on board the Royal Admiral East Indiaman, Captain Bond, as boatswain's boy. Sailed from England for New South Wales, and arrived at Port Jackson in 1790, where, with the consent of Captain Bond, he quitted the ship, and remained at New South Wales.

"At Port Jackson Bruce entered into the naval colonial service, and was employed for several years under Lieutenants Robins, Flinders, and others, in exploring the coasts, surveying harbours, headlands, rocks, &c. During this time Bruce experienced various adventures, which do not come within the design of this narrative. After being thus employed for several years in vessels of survey, he was turned over to the Lady Nelson, Captain Simmonds, a vessel fitted up for the express purpose of conveying Tippahee, King of New Zealand, from a visit which he made to the Government of Port Jackson to his own country. The King embarked, and the Nelson sailed on her destination. During the passage, Tippahee was taken dangerously ill, and Bruce was appointed to attend him: he acquitted himself so highly to the King's satisfaction, that he was honoured with his special favour; and, on their arrival, the King requested that he should be allowed to remain with him at New Zealand, to which Captain Simmonds consented, and Bruce was received into the family of Tippahee.

"Bruce spent his first few months in New Zealand in exploring the country, and in acquiring a knowledge of the language, manners, and customs of the people. He found the country healthy and pleasant, full of romantic scenery, agreeably diversified by hills and dales, and covered with wood.—The people were hospitable, frank, and open; though rude and ignorant, yet worshipping neither images nor idols, nor aught that is the work of human hands; acknowledging one Omnipotent Supreme Being.

"As the King proposed to place the young Englishman at the head of his army, it was a previously necessary step that he should be tattowed, as, without having undergone that ceremony, he could not be regarded as a warrior. The case was urgent, and admitted of no alternative. He therefore submitted resolutely to this painful ceremony, and his countenance presents a master specimen of the art of tattowing.

"Being now tattowed in due form, Bruce was recognized as a warrior of the first rank, naturalized as a New Zealander, received into the bosom of the King's family, and honoured with the hand of the Princess Actoekoe, the youngest daughter of Tippahee, a maiden of fifteen or sixteen years of age, whose native beauty had probably been great, but which has been so much improved by the fashionable embellishments of art, that all the softer charms of nature, all the sweetness of original expression, are lost in the bolder impressions of tattowing.

"Bruce now became the chief member of the King's family, and was vested with the government of the island. Six or eight months after his marriage, the English ships Inspector, the Ferret South Sea whaler, and several other English vessels, touched at New Zealand for supplies, and all of them found the beneficial influence of having a countryman and friend at the head of affairs in that island. They were liberally supplied with fish, vegetables, &c. &c.

"Our Englishman and his wife were now contented and happy, in the full enjoyment of domestic comfort, with no wants that were ungratified, blessed with health and perfect independence. Bruce looked forward with satisfaction to the progress of civilization, which he expected to introduce among the people with whom, by a singular destiny, he seemed doomed to remain during his life. While enjoying these hopes, the ship General Wellesley, about twelve or fourteen months ago, touched at a point of New Zealand where Bruce and his wife then chanced to be. This was at some distance from the King's place of residence. Captain Dalrymple applied to Bruce to assist him in procuring a cargo of spars and benjamin, and requested specimens, of the principal articles of produce of the island, all which was cheerfully done. Captain Dalrymple then proposed to Bruce to accompany him to North Cape, distant about twenty-five or thirty leagues, where it was reported that gold dust could be procured, and Captain Dalrymple conceived that Bruce might prove useful to him in the search for the gold dust. With great reluctance, and after many entreaties, Bruce consented to accompany Captain Dalrymple, under the most solemn assurances of being safely brought back and landed at the Bay of Islands. He accordingly embarked with his wife on board the General Wellesley, representing, at the same time, to Captain Dalrymple the dangerous consequences of taking the King's daughter from the island; but that fear was quieted by the solemn and repeated assurances of Captain Dalrymple, that he would, at every hazard, reland them at the Bay of Islands, the place from which they embarked. Being at length all on board, the Wellesley sailed for the North Cape, where they soon arrived and landed. Finding that they had been entirely misinformed as to the gold dust, the Wellesley made sail, in order to return to New Zealand—but the wind becoming foul, and continuing so for forty-eight hours, they were driven from the island. On the third day the wind became more favourable, but Capt. Dalrymple did not attempt to regain the island, but stood on for India. Bruce now gently remonstrated, and reminded him of his promises; to which Captain Dalrymple replied, 'That he had something else to think of, than to detain the ship, by returning with a valuable cargo to the island. Besides, he had another and better island in view for him.'

"On reaching the Feegee, or Sandalwood Islands, Captain Dalrymple asked Bruce, if he chose to go on shore, and remain there? which he declined, on account of the barbarous and sanguinary disposition of their inhabitants. Captain D. desired that he would choose for himself; and then took from him several little presents, which he himself and his officers had given to him at New Zealand; these now were given to the natives of the islands, in the boats then alongside the vessel.

"Leaving the Feegee islands, they steered towards Sooloo, visiting two or three islands in their passage; but the limits of this narrative do not admit of giving any account of the occurrences at those places, though they are not devoid of interest.—After remaining four or five days at Sooloo, they sailed for Malacca, where they arrived in December last. At Malacca, Captain Dalrymple and Bruce went on shore. The latter was anxious to see the governor or commanding officer, to state his grievances; but as it was late in the evening when he landed, he could not see him till the following morning, by which time Captain Dalrymple had weighed from Malacca roads, leaving Bruce on shore, and carrying off his wife on board the Wellesley to Penang.

"Bruce acquainted the Commanding Officer at Malacca with his case, and expressed his wish to regain his wife, and to return with her to New Zealand. The Commanding Officer endeavoured to console him; desired that he would patiently wait at Malacca, for a short time, as some ships might probably touch there, on their passage from Bengal to New South Wales, by which he would procure a passage for himself and his wife; and that, in the mean time, he would write to Penang, desiring that his wife should be returned to her husband at Malacca. After waiting three or four weeks, accounts were received of Captain Dalrymple's arrival at Penang; upon which Bruce obtained the Commanding Officer's permission, and left Malacca in the Scourge gun-brig, for Penang, where, upon his arrival, he found that his wife had been bartered away to Captain Ross. On waiting upon the Governor of Penang, he was asked what satisfaction he required for the ill treatment he had experienced? Bruce answered, that all he wanted was to have his wife restored, and to get a passage, if possible, to New Zealand. Through the interference of the Governor, his wife was restored to him. With her he returned to Malacca, in hope of the promised passage to New South Wales; but as there was no appearance of the expected ships for that port, he was now promised a passage for himself and his wife to England, in one of the homeward-bound India-men from China. By getting to England, he hoped from thence to find a passage to New South Wales; but the China ships only anchored in Malacca roads for a few hours, during the night, so that he had no opportunity of proceeding by any of the ships of that fleet. He then entreated the Commanding Officer to get him a passage in the Sir Edward Pellew to Penang, where he hoped to overtake the Indiamen. A passage for himself and his wife was accordingly provided on board the Pellew; and, on his arrival at Penang, he found the Indiamen standing still there; but he could nut be accommodated with a passage to Europe without the payment of four hundred dollars. Not having that sum, and without the means to raise It, he came on with the Sir Edward Pellew to Bengal, where he and his wife, the affectionate companion of his distress, have been most hospitably received, and where, their hardships and long sufferings will be soothed and forgotten in the kindness that awaits them. Opportunities will probably occur, in the course of a few months, of a passage to New South Wales, from whence they will find no difficulty in reaching New Zealand.

"It was believed that the visit of Prince Tippahee to Port Jackson had partly for its object to inquire after his favourite daughter and his son-in-law, who had been carried so unaccountably from his coasts."

Through this channel we now learn that, besides the flax and hemp for which New Zealand is famous, the white benjamin tree, &c. mines of different valuable metals are known to exist in the exterior. Specimens of their ores have been obtained; but, from the total ignorance of the people in metallurgy, or in any other art of civilized countries, their mines remain unwrought. Iron ores are found in great abundance; and with these the natives paint both themselves and their canoes.

Cabbages, the common and the sweet potatoe, yams, parsnips, turnips, carrots, &c. rank among their garden vegetables. They have a plant somewhat resembling a fern, with a large farinaceous root, which, when roasted, is a pleasant, wholesome food, and is a most excellent substitute for bread. They have also fruit trees, some of which are indigenous, others arc exotic. The orange and the peach have both been introduced from the Cape of Good Hope, and are in a very thriving way.

Breeds of swine and goats have been lately brought into New Zealand, and are increasing rapidly. Fish they possess in great variety and profusion, and during all the months of the year. In the summer season they are visited by shoals of mackarel; and, during the winter, their coasts are frequented by immense quantities of herrings.—The island is watered by many fine rivers, which abound with fish, some of which are well known in Europe, while others seem peculiar to the countries in the Southern Ocean. The shores of the rivers and their lakes are frequented by wild geese and wild ducks; but it is remarkable that they have no tame web-footed birds. The only quadruped on the land is a kind of fox, and their only reptile a dull sluggish lizard.

J. Compton, Printer, Middle Street,
    Cloth Fair, London.


[2nd Edition: INDEX





Adventures, desperate
Almagan, Island of, described
Articles, plentiful and scarce


Bass, Mr. and Lieut. Flinders return from the voyage of discovery
——return from an excursion of 12 weeks in a boat
Bennillong, particulars of
Blankets made
Botany Bay, why so called,—customs and manners of the natives, —of their features, their females, &c.—holes bored in their noses—their power of imitation—method of extracting the tooth—mode of fishing—of catching birds—of obtaining fire —ideas of murder—of their dwellings, huts, &c. —their children—dispositions of the natives, respect for old age, &c.—language, weapons, funeral rites—of their government principally by Cammerays,—of their superstition, love and marriage—motives for establishing the colony, M. de la Peyrouse enters Botany Bay—leaves it—escape of convicts


Candles a great luxury
Cape barren island described
Coals discovered
Colebee, particulars of
Contests among the natives
Convicts, venereal disease among
———— murdered by the native
———— eagerness to return to England
———— six of them tried and hung as criminals
Convicts, Irish, their depredations
———— transported to Norfolk Island
Copper coin received—specie, table of


Dexter's Groupe, (Islands) described


Flax manufactory described
Flinders, Lieutenant, his proceedings in the Norfolk—singular adventure at Point Skirmish—conclusion of his voyages


Gaol at Sydney burnt down
Gome Boak, a powerful savage
Grose, Lieut. Governor, arrives
Guardian, the loss of


Hawkesbury, particulars of that settlement—extraordinary phænomenon —rising, sudden, of the river
Heat, uncommon
Hunter, Governor, arrives, and orders a return of the inhabitants and live stock 10 be made—account of the public works executed during the time he was governor


Kangaroo caught
Kennedy's Island
King, Lieutenant Governor, arrives


Labour, price of
Lady Shore, transport, lost in consequence of a mutiny of the convicts on board, and their murder of the commander
Liberty Plains, why so called


Mangea, an unknown island
Missionaries at Otaheite, particulars of
Muir, Mr. Thomas, escapes to America
Murderers executed


Natives of New South Wales, their docility
Natives, killing them considered as murder
New South Wales, its geographical situation
——————— partly discovered by the Dutch in 1616
Norfolk Island described
—————— rage for traffic there, censured by the governor


Otaheite, miserable state of the missionaries there when visited by the Nautilus Brig
———— Pomarre, King of, letter from to the Missionaries


Pagan's Island
Paramatta (the town at Rose Hill)—fire at—described by M. Peron
Peron, M. his tribute to English commerce
Philip, Governor, arrives at Port Jackson
Plan of the Courts and their power
Play-house at Sydney opened—prologue on this occasion
Pomarre, King of Otaheite
Population of the New Colony
Prices and articles, list of, at Sydney


————— the Tapha
————— the Dog or Dingo
————— Kangaroo Rat
————— Kangaroo


Schools established
Settlers, the morality of, how improved
Shah Hormuzear, voyage of adventure to several islands
Snake, black, with venomous fangs
Specie, a table of
Speculation, ships arrive upon
Sunday, orders respecting
——— Church burnt
Swan Isles, the, described
Swans, black, remarkable
Sydney Gazette, account of


Tate's Island discovered
Trees, the Peppermint Tree, or Eucalyptus Oblique
Tree of New South Wales
—— Sweet Tea
—— Red Gum tree
—— Yellow Resin Tree


Van Diemen's Land described by Lieut. Flinders and Mr. Bass —singular appearance of its extremity in peaks, ridges, gaps, and fissures—game of described—Kangaroos, two classes of —birds of, the Colossal Emu, &c. —described by M. Labillardiere


Women's curious method of diving for fish —concealing the signs of frequent child-bearing, &c.
Wombat, or Womback, described


Zealand, New


Directions for placing the Prints.

The View to face the Title as a Frontispiece.

[Town & Cove of Sydney to face the Title; 2nd Edition]
[Engraved Title Page]
A Male and Female Native
[A Native Family; 2nd Edition]
Burning the Dead
The Native Dog
—— Kangaroo
[Spotted Hyena and Cameleopard; 2nd Edition; OMITTED]
—— Bird of Paradise
—— Black Cockatoo
—— Hornbill
—— Mountain Eagle
—— Emu
—— Snakes
—— Plate of Botany

Before each Print place the tissue paper given for that purpose in each Number.

The Binder is requested to observe, that the Half Title, given in No. 14, is to be placed behind the View, and the Contents directly after the engraved Title; and he is intreated to substitute pages 45, 46, 117, 118, 455, 456, given in the last Number for those in the body of the work which are to be cancelled.

The Label here given is intended for those which are only boarded.


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